The “5” – Sunday Followup #2

We continue in our 5 issues from 1 John 5…

#2: Prayer

John calls us to pray with confidence and in the will of God. So let’s talk about prayer. How is your prayer life? What do your prayers consist of? What’s the percentage of prayers for self? for others? for church? for missionaries? for government? for leaders? for pre-Christians? for wayward Christians? If you had 100% to work with how would your percentages break down (even using the items above)?

What keeps us from praying? we talked about 2 most common reasons…
1. We resist aligning with God. Not sure all the motivation on this one, but here are a few ways it shows up: I want to try and prove I can do it, so I make prayer my last resort after I exhaust all my own efforts. I’m afraid of what God will say or how He will lead, so I try to do it myself and skip praying. Regardless of how it shows up – the bottom line is prayer is seeking to align with God and maybe we don’t pray because we don’t want to align.

read more

The “5” – Sunday Followup #1

Well we concluded our big (8 week) series through the book of 1 John. We covered lots of ground, got into lots of the controversy and various intepretations and hopefully gave us all something to think through and grow deeper in. During the 8th and final message we talked about 5 areas where we should pursue the maximum of Christian life in (rather than settling for the bare minimum to get by). In this 5 part blog series we’ll talk each one and review some of the key thoughts and ask some of the key questions. Hopefully it will lead us a little closer to the maximum Christian life God invites us into…

read more

Where does “legalism” come from?

Ok, I don’t intend this to be an exhaustive answer to the title question of this post, but here’s one big thought that just hit me.
I was thinking about how a person’s heart can be inclined towards God. When someone’s heart is inclined it shows up in lots of ways: moral lifestyle, love towards others, discerning and wise decisions and keeping short accounts on sin, idolatry etc. But when one’s heart is not inclined towards God is also shows up in lots of ways.

So here’s what I’m wondering, being a pastor and a father what would I do if someone I care for was not inclined to care, not inclined to love that their “heart” was not in it? What recourse would I have? There is a part of me that wonders if this is why rules/ legalism come to be?

read more

Slowing Down, I wonder…

I realize for many of us Thanksgiving is not really slowing down – many of us pile into cars to travel, have kids zooming around the house (I love the old division at Thanksgiving between the “adult table” and the “kids table”; it was so sweet when I got promoted-:)) and have various forms of holiday craziness. But to be fair most of us tend to have some extra time either Wednesday night, Thursday night or Friday/Saturday to slow down (beyond the turkey induced nap) to reflect and so that got me reflecting…(I know I’m butchering the English language so far in this post, I think I need an editor! :))

read more

Things I’m Thankful For

So, it’s Thanksgiving. This is a time where we’re called to pause and reflect (something we should do a whole lot more often than once a year). Obviously, this drives me to reflect on my own life as a man, a husband, a father and as a pastor. I’m sure I’ll leave some things out here, but here’s where my thoughts are right now. I would encourage you to make a similar list and then turn to God and lift up prayers of thanksgiving for the things on your list. And while you’re reflecting, I would encourage you to sit quiet long enough to listen to God’s words to you — it could be there’s a step He’s been wanting you to take, but we’ve not taken enough time to stop and listen long enough. OK, enough preaching… let me share my list with you…

read more

Monday Reflections

I often find myself here in Caribou Coffee on Mondays, and among other things my thoughts replay Sunday which leads to thoughts about our church and life. I also tend to think about my own personal journey and begin to think about next Sunday’s message (part of the ongoing process of every Sunday services).

Not sure if this will be an ongoing segment of blog posts each week or not — if it’s helpful insight then maybe I will keep it up.

1. The service on Sunday was a fun one. The study through 1 John has been powerful and convicting. I’m glad the Bible is the authority because if it was just up to me, I may try to soften things out of my heart for people, but John, in particular, tells it like it is and that is needed. I pray that this book is driving believers to true obedience, love and holiness and convicting those in sin to turn and find the love of Jesus and experience true life!

read more