Archive for the ‘Christian Lifestyle’ Tag

Lonely, or Perfect?   Leave a comment

Mark’s first chapter indicates a couple of times that Jesus went to lonely or secluded places.

The first reference is that Jesus got up early and went to the wilderness, arid, a lonely place where he could pray. Morning quiet time is what works best for me. What about you? Any other time of day is far too difficult because my mind has already hit overdrive later and is challenging at best to bring to a crawl for a sound, fulfilling time alone with God. It isn’t impossible, just hard to achieve for me.

Photo by Walid Ahmad on Pexels.com

The other reference is when Jesus was simply trapped in place by large crowds. Of course he had the compassion to heal them all and cast out all of their evil spirits, so he would do so (and I’d say) with great joy. But this was overwhelming for his human capacity, so for any kind of rest or opportunity to spend time in prayer, he had to go to secluded places. Seclusion is an intentional separation where you are either running from something or being forced somewhere not of your own will.

Seclusion has negative connotations. Loneliness can be similar, but in this case, it is an intentional choice. For me it would be to say that each morning when I get up and around and have my cup of coffee that I have my quiet time because it is mandated, a command, an order. If it is something I have to do, my motivation is decreased greatly. If it is something that I want to do, desire comes easily.

Where I go for my quiet time is in the peaceful setting of my home office. I say peaceful simply because early in the morning it is very quiet. I’m literally surrounded by work opportunities but ignore them for this sacred moment. I’m up long before my wife and can read and meditate, using candles to set the mood if I like or low lighting. I’ll read Scripture and poetry and then open my laptop and write in this journal. Often, my prayer itself comes through these moments without the traditional-formal closing of the eyes and bowing of the head. In here, in this time, I am in the arms of God, sipping coffee and enjoying the presence.

It is a lonely place, but I’m anything but alone. That makes it perfect!

Wheelhouse   1 comment

How does God best use you?  I could go on forever about spiritual gifts, their uses and abuses, and how many folks get lost in search of theirs because they won’t accept assistance.  What I am talking about now is your “wheelhouse.”  A wheelhouse is to a baseball batter that one sweet spot where a pitch comes in and you can knock it out of the park every time.  In your experience, what would you call your wheelhouse? Read the rest of this entry »

Positive Encouragement   1 comment

Would you rather be told what is wrong or shown how to make something right?  Most people prefer positive feedback over demeaning discourses, especially when a word of correction is being delivered.  In a world filled with negativity and harsh realities of just how rough life can sometimes be, we should give encouraging words instead of negative lectures.  Read the rest of this entry »

A Prayer for Leaders   3 comments

I belong to seemingly countless email groups that keep me informed in the world of religion, culture, and ministry.  One of those groups (smart ministry and preaching unleashed) sent an email yesterday with a prayer for all of their subscribers who are mostly ministers and church leaders.  I was moved to hear such a prayer for me and simply want to pass this along to all who dare to read it.

My challenge to those of you who are not in ministry or church leadership positions is to pray this prayer for your pastor and other leaders.  It isn’t very often we ministers hear of such prayers being offered for us. Read the rest of this entry »

Still My Favorite   Leave a comment

Christmas.  How I could so easily write it off this year.  The economy is still down, at least it is in my world.  The costs of raising two teenagers rises constantly, especially with one graduating high school and the other about to get his driver’s license.  Would YOU like to share my car insurance bill?  Diane and I have both had health issues this year with her ankle still not quite what it should be and my knees deterioration continues to heighten.

We have emotional issues dealing with stress – I’m sure you’re shocked.  My Dad passed away this year.  School has drained more of my energy than I told it to.  David Jr. and his family will not be able to make it up from the deep south this time; maybe in spring (fingers crossed).

If I wanted to, I could easily write off this year’s Christmas and sit at home and mope.

Read the rest of this entry »