Thursday, July 24, 2008

Take Time Out

Do you ever just take time out to just look at God's creation? I mean the little stuff like clouds, grass, wind....yeah you can call me crazy if ya want, but it truly is amazing. What's even more amazing is that you see what it says in Genesis, man was created in God's image. That means not physically but all the characteristics you see everyone you know with everyday. Laughter, sadness, anger, happiness, and INTELLIGENCE.

I capitalized that because looking at thing such as plants, you see patterns. Looking at animals and other things in nature you also see symmetry along with the patterns. I mean just looking at animals and ourselves as well, you cut the body in half and it's the same on both sides. Plants are a little more free but you can still see distinct patterns. And patterns are especially prevalent with the fish (esp the the tropical ones)

Now look at everything man creates. Cars, phones, televisions, bottles, computers, shoes, ships, etc, etc. What do you see?

Patterns and symmetry. It's just very humbling to know that with all the inventions and things that man has created, I believe the ideas came from and were inspired by God and his even greater intelligence. This is why it says in the scriptures that people have no excuse for saying there is no God (in reference to creation). I mean, it seems pretty blatantly obvious to me. Man, who was created in God's image designs and creates stuff an awful lot similar to what you find in nature in regards to design.

I mean, even the universe. Our galaxy alone is what like 100,000 light years across? And then there are millions of more galaxies of the same size, if not larger? It's crazy. As I said, very humbling indeed.

God bless.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Prayer Life

Prayer is the most important part of the Christian life and I know for myself, it's the thing I neglect to do the most. I know this can be said for others of you as well (maybe, maybe not).

Recently I have been getting better about my prayer time because it's our direct connection with God. It's how we build our relationship with Him, and I know this has been said about prayer many times, but how much do we actually pay attention to it?

There are some things I have always wondered about prayer, and have had questions about. Of course, the bible is th primary source for questions on prayer.

Matthew 6:9-13 "This, then, is how you should pray: 'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one."

This is the model prayer that Jesus gave to his disciples. I always find this interesting because I was reading someone else's blog (can't remember :p) and they said the disciples asked him this because obviously they had never seen Jesus pray. Every time Jesus was recorded in the gospels praying, he was off by himself in the wilderness pouring his heart out to the Father.

You know one thing that cleared my mind up about prayer lately has been focusing on that one thing. Communicate with God. Conversation with God. Acknowledging his awesome power and mercy.

But far too many times, I found myself getting aught up in praying for THINGS all the time.

"Father I need this"
"Father I need that"

yes we are to make our requests known to Him, but what about just TALKING to Him. Which brings me to my next point.

Where did "prayer language" come from? What I mean is, if prayer is our communication and conversation to God, why don't we talk like it is a conversation (by the way where we should do most of the listening)? Why do we all of a sudden take on this sort of, prayer accent, when we no longer sound like who we are? I would say that it is our passion and desire to be closer to Him, but everybody sounding the same?

God is the creator of this universe and he deserves all the praise, so I am by no means saying we should just come any ol' way, but when you have a conversation with someone, do you say their name 100 times in a paragraph?


Father God, in Jesus name, I just ask that you protect Sister Susie Father God, and Father God, I just pray that you continue to keep Brother Bob on the good track and Father God I just ask that I pass the job interview tomorrow Father God, and to open doors for my other brother Father God

Would you talk to your friends or relatives like that?

How ya doin Susie? Everything alright Susie? I just want to make sure Susie because things are crazy around here Susie, and I'm just looking out for you safety. And oh yeah Susie, did you still have that lawnmower you borrowed? That' be great if you could return it today Susie. Well bye Susie!!

And I just call it an accent because, mostly everybody does it. I guess you could say it's like being raised in West Virginia for the first five years of your life with a distinct accent, and then moving to New York City and you start saying things like "caw-fee" and "tawk" (no offense New Yorkers). By being around believers, do we just automatically pick it up?

I've heard several instances from other believers who never want to pray in groups because of the pressure in a sense, to pray this way. One person was even told that they didn't know how to pray. Me in particular because when I do pray, I always try to come straight from the heart, and talk to God like he is the loving Father that he is. When praying alone, I try to talk, like it's a conversation, and then listen, but when I'm called on to pray in groups (which now I know why I dislike), I'll be the first to say that most of the time it's not the way I pray, and I fall into the prayer mode above because that's what would seem acceptable. Also there is the fact that thoughts in my mind tend to get jumbled before I speak them out, so I constantly get tongue tied and out of words. To tell you the truth, if I really prayed the way I normally pray when alone, the people I'm praying with would be there for days lol. I will overcome this through Jesus and just not care about how I sound though anymore. But I have to admit, it is hard most of the time.

I mean think about it. If we were to actually talk to God like I mean really talk to Him and not at Him, we would feel kind of dumb in front of all those people (idk maybe it's just me)

Now these are in no way condemning anyone's way of praying. These thoughts just came to me as to where did this style of praying come from? I have more on the subject for later posts, so I'll just call this part 1. :)

God bless

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

For the introverted christians

The great thing about the body of Christ is that it's diverse. People have different talents, abilities, convictions, etc but we all share that one common trait which is we are believers in Christ redeemed by his sacrifice on the cross.

But there is always two groups in the church and this even extends out into the world. The introverted and the extroverted. I'm an introvert, and seeing as only 25% of the general population is introverted, it can be pretty hard sometimes, and this is true even in the church. Whereas the extroverted get all their energy and thrill from the spotlight or being around people all the time, introverts get their energy from being alone (not to say that we don't like hanging around people). I also notice that many Christians would think that being an introvert is some kind of sin, or demonic oppression because you're not wailing and flailing about all the time in church service. People express their excitement in very different ways (and no I don't even get that excited and football and basketball games...people who can shout at football games but be quiet at praise and worship is a problem...but that's for another post ;)

Especially in my beginnings in my walk with God, this was very difficult for me. I'm all for preaching the gospel and sharing Christ, but I'm not the type to go for all out street preaching on the corner/ramming the bible down people's throat approach. There's nothing wrong with this method of course, but I more so chose to share Christ through deep relationship with people (which is an introvert's nature anyways). At times I would feel that I'm not as good a Christian as they are. I mean look at how easy they can just shout at the top of their lungs. Also a few times when I told someone this, it made me feel that I was a "bad" Christian when they said well it's not about you, it's about Jesus, which is totally true, but is that saying that God cannot use the introverted as well? Is there one standard form of evangelism that everyone has to follow?

I have gone out many times witnessing and I guess you could say that is really was a sacrifice because I really don't feel comfortable with the "hit and run" type of evangelism. I mean you get to talk to a lot of people walking by and I ask them if they know Jesus, but of course many may say no, and you never get a chance to speak to that person again.

Here is a good writeup from Joanne Brokaw about "Evangelism for the Rest of Us" at her website:

It’s unusual to find me writing a book review. My “to read” pile of novels and self-help tomes is a mile high, but if I had my way I’d be making a list of books to avoid wasting your money on rather than reviewing something you should read.

Ironically, the book that’s got me writing this month is one that I actually plopped down hard earned cash to read.

Evangelism For The Rest of Us (Baker Books), by Mike Bechtle is worth the cover price, if only to remind Christians that not everyone is cut out for the in-your-face, win ‘em to the Lord, street witnessing pushed onto us by more vocal, extroverted Christians.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not afraid to talk about Christ or share the gospel. And as Bechtle emphasizes, God uses both introverts and extroverts to further His kingdom. It’s just that He uses them in different ways.

According to Bechtle’s personality quiz, I’m probably an introvert with short bursts of extrovert-ness. Rather than trying to ram the Bible down some stranger’s throat, I’m more suited to long term relationship building.

On my last mission trip, for example, when half the team was falling over themselves to go stand on a Mexican street corner and share the gospel with total strangers, I was much happier hanging out at the campus with the construction workers, trying to converse in my limited Spanish about what we were having for lunch.

And some people looked down on that. Oh, they don’t say it out loud. But you introverts know what I’m talking about. The folks who lead dozens of people to the Lord in an hour brag about their numbers and tell you what a blessing you missed while you, who stayed back to peel potatoes or clean paintbrushes, believe the lie that they accomplished more for the kingdom of God than you did.

“God never asks us to be successful,” Bechtle writes. “He only asks us to be faithful.”

Amen, friends. Finally a book that doesn’t outline a ten-step program guaranteed to win the world for Jesus and cause guilt in the hearts of Christians who have a panic attack just thinking about approaching a stranger to outline the five spiritual laws.

“The biblical model for evangelism is primarily a process, not an event,” Bechtle writes. “The pattern involves meeting people at their level, developing a relationship, and moving them along a notch or two in their spiritual journey.”

If you’re not comfortable with street witnessing, or if the thought of drive-by evangelism makes you sweat, this is the book for you. You’ll learn that while you need to sometimes step out of your comfort zone, God gave you that comfort zone for a reason - and He loves and uses you just the way you are.

Another good blog that I like to read is The Introverted Church

Check it out.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Decision Making and the Will of God Pt.2

Ok I'm about a quarter of the way through Frieson's book. It's still pretty good, and he's clarifying some things that he spoke of in the earlier part of the book.

One thing I always look for when getting into reading Christian books and making sure everything is backed up by the Word. I mean people can always write books but the number one source over all of them are the bible. Well in this book, everything is backed up by the Word and just emphasizes what I was thinking before.

Right now I'm at a part where he's dealing with "inner impressions". This is common and crucial among the church today in finding God's will for the believer. These inner impressions often hold the same weight as using guidance from the Word of God, but are inner impressions as a way of finding God's will found anywhere in the word?

There was a point in the book where he talked about how if many of us relied on our feelings or inner impressions, most of us would've quit serving in the ministry a long time ago.

There were a number of stories about believers who relied on inner impressions too heavily and missed out.

I think a lot of danger comes into play when we start thinking of our inner leadings or impressions as direct instructions from God. Do you know how many "inner leadings" I got concerning certain calls into he ministry or (I know a lot of brothers in the faith can relate to this) I just feel this inner leading in my spirit that she's the one I'm supposed to marry!!

And also if I say that God told me to do something, who are you to say that I didn't hear from God!! (an example)

I'm not saying God can't speak directly to our spirit. For example, my mom was driving back home from work one day and took a short cut. She came to an intersection which when you make a right turn, it is hard to see who's coming from the left. She had planned on making a right turn (this was a green light), but something in her spirit (I know this was the holy spirit) said "Be still". Now who sits there at a green light?? Sure enough, seconds later, a car came speeding down at over 60 MPH
, clearly running the red light.

I think one of the main ways God speaks to us is by bringing his Word back to our minds.

"Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against you."--Psalm 119:11

Our inner impressions can come from God, ourselves (trying to weed out our own desires), or even the Devil.

This can also translate into thinking that everything that we like or desire is against God's will. Oh we definitely have bad desires that can go directly against God's will, but where does the thinking come from that if I have two decisions (such as where to go to school) that the one in which I don't desire MUST be God's will. In making decisions, especially ones directly related to service in ministry, we should always set our desires aside so we can be directly led by God. If there's service needed to be done at church, and you're available, you can't say "Well I don't feel led to do that. Moving tables is just not my thing and I don't feel any peace about it."

Using the parable of talents, God has given us many desires and abilities to use for his glory. If you like baseball, and have the aspiration to play professionally, and you have the God given talent to do so, you shouldn't feel guilty that you're not servicing God in a great way. The recent story of Josh Hamilton is proof of that. Just think about his testimony and how many people he has touched. God used his baseball talent and his story of coming to Christ and overcoming drug addiction, and God is glorified in the process.

In the end, there must be a balance. We can't cling to experiences we have (which can happen) without lining them up with the Word. On the other side, we can't just cling to what is written in the bible without expecting God to speak to us and fellowship with us.

Anyways, I've really been fascinated by this subject lately because I'm at a point in my life where I'm just trying to figure out where God is leading me. You know what I got? Although this subject is fascinating and as I continue to talk about it, seek HIM and know HIM above all things. Everything else will pretty much take care of itself, including God's will. Don't worry about it ;)

Well I'm out for the day. I'll be back again Lord willing ;) I probably won't touch back on this subject for awhile. Any thoughts?

God bless.

Love this video

Check out this video. Does it get anymore plain than this? :)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Decision Making and the Will of God Pt.1

Lately I've been reading a book called Decision Making and the Will of God by Garry Frieson.

First let me give you some background on why I picked this book up and how I found out about it.

Today, in most Christian churches, a main point of concern is finding God's will for our lives, mainly his individual and perfect will for our lives. We are taught to go about finding this individual will by going on counsel from other more mature believers, inner leadings or impressions from the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, and other "signs" that you may see as significant.

The problem is, it isn't always this simple. I can't tell you how many times I've used the methods described above when it came to making an important decision. The more popular questions are "Who to marry?, "What college to go to?", and "What career path or ministry to take up?"

All of these are very important in our lives. But is there ONE path that we are destined from birth to take? In Proverbs it says that a man plans his way, but the Lord Directs his steps. But does this mean that there is a specific road map that God has set for us to take, and if we are to deviate off this path in a major decision, are we out of his perfect individual will? Will we just have to settle for God's second best?

Things to make me question this view or mindset were many situations in my life, as well as other believers in my life.

In Frieson's book, he makes the case that wisdom is indeed the scriptural way to go rather than the "traditional view"

For example if there truly is an individual will in which when we are faced with major decisions, there can only be one choice, then this must also apply to minor decisions such as which shoes to wear, which brush to use, or which hat to wear. The problem is that the traditional view seems to abandon an individual will in these cases which contradicts itself.

Instead, in his book, Frieson suggests that the Word of God is sufficient enough to make all decisions and that when making decisions, we are free to chose USING WISDOM within the moral will of God (which unlike the individual will, has been fully revealed)

Of course there are instances where God directly told someone to do something such as Moses, Abraham, Jonah, etc, but these were not normative experiences. These experiences especially the ones in the New Testament were needed to further the Gospel at a crucial point in history.

I must say that after reading halfway through this book, it speaks right to me and makes more sense. Now of course this isn't an excuse to just "wild out" and make rash or sinful decisions based on "My decision is honoring God" or to get out of service in the ministry, but it is more so saying that in major decisions of what calling to do or what ministry to serve in, you don't have to feel paralyzed or anxious about making the wrong decision and "falling out" of God's will and missing the bullseye.

This is also not saying that God is left out of our decision making process. By using the Word of God, which is filled with his literal words, we are using wisdom as it says in Proverbs. "Wisdom is the principle thing"

We can make our decisions knowing that God is leading us, even though it may not feel like it and that his Sovereign will will be accomplished no matter what.

I will probably have more on this subject as I read through. What are your thoughts?


Well let me just first say welcome. As the title implies, I'm a laidback fella, and I'm a christian. I really couldn't come up with any other titles, so I guess you could say I was lazy :P

But anyways a lot of what you will read here will be my expressions and experiences of my daily walk with Christ and my thoughts on other issue in the Christian Community.

Lately I've been asking questions which I will get to. So sit back and come by every now and then and let me know what you think.