Top ten reasons to pray even though God already knows everything…

random5

It must be a full moon or something because I actually have a few minutes to write a post, and there’s something I want to write about…  But there’s one problem, I don’t have a number “1.”  What kind of top ten post doesn’t have a number 1?  Well I couldn’t do a “top 9″ post now could I?  So I need your help.  Take a look at the 9 I have and tell me what the #1 reason should be.  So the question is: Why should I pray if God already knows everything that’s going to happen and everything I’m going to ask for?  Here we go…my top ten (9) reasons are:

10. God is your Father, not your Butler…

If you had a good dad that wanted to spend time with you, that’s a little bit of what God is like, He wants to spend time with you, to hear your voice, to hear your thoughts…even though He already knows them.  If you didn’t grow up with a dad like that, cheer up because you have one now…  God, your REAL Father wants a relationship with you. Yes, He wants to give you stuff also, but that’s secondary.  What this means is, God is NOT your genie in a bottle, He is not your fairy godmother, and it’s part of His kindness that He puts up with us when we think of Him like that.  One of the main ways you have a relationship with someone is by talking with them.  When we talk to God it’s called prayer. Continue reading

Just checking in!

fr_10_size1024

Hey it’s been a while!  I’ve been busy and shorthanded (what else is new?).  I’ve started posts then deleted them, and there’s one that I started MANY times whenever the baby was napping, but wasn’t able to finish before she woke up. I’m going to take that as a sign that those posts were not meant to be…for now. Instead I want to mention a couple of things I’ve learned lately during this overloaded season… Continue reading

Smart vs. Dumb, Wise Vs. Foolish

gandalfthegrey7

Just a quick post to point out that “smart” and “wise” are two different things.  You can be really smart and yet foolish.  I know some younger people who have a bit of an inferiority complex when it comes to intelligence, and in NY it’s not hard to find yourself in a room where everyone is smarter (more intelligent) than you: they can learn things quicker, they know more things, they read more, they can grasp complex issues more quickly, they can get into better schools, get into better jobs, and so they make more money (often MUCH more).  But that’s different from being wise.  Intelligence is a physical property like height or strength: At 170 cm and under 140 lbs, I’ll never be a line backer or professional basketball player… that’s okay, I think that God had other plans for me.  And if you have an IQ that makes it unlikely for you to do well in certain fields, that’s okay: God probably had other plans for you.  But these things are different from being WISE.  God DOES want you to gain wisdom…  You don’t need a 150+ IQ to be wise.  And even if you have a 150+ IQ you still need to learn some very important things if you are ever going to become wise… Continue reading

Why there are Jesus dropouts…

skyline7

You know, those seasons when Jesus followers decide, “screw it, I’m going to do my own thing for a while.”  Often Jesus dropouts don’t admit they’re dropping out, they rationalize it by saying: you can be a Christian and do — so that’s what I’m doing…  ”You don’t have to go to church to follow Jesus,” “you don’t have to tithe“, “you don’t have to read the Bible every day,” all true – you don’t have to do a lot of things…  But sometimes the core motivation people say those things is because they really want to get away from God.  So there are LOTS of people who are really living for themselves (their appetites, their tastes, their culture, their dreams) who SAY they are following Jesus but really they’ve dropped out.  And the question I want to address is: Why do people drop out of following Jesus like that? If God is so good then why are there dropouts at all?  And why the heck are there so many? Continue reading

The most common mistake you don’t have to make…

commonerror8

Imagine if you made the same mistake over and over again.  And imagine that mistake actually takes you off track spiritually (over and over again.  And imagine, yet again, that it’s a really simple mistake to avoid… Avoiding this mistake will make you happier (indirectly), give you a better perspective on life and other people, and make God feel more real and relevant every minute of the day.  And I’m just talking about ONE really common and simple mistake Christians make, greatly diminishing God’s word and power in their lives.  And here it is: our mistake is we forget that EVERYONE is sinful.  You, me, the people in the church, the people outside the church, our heroes, our villains, everyone. Continue reading

Jesus can change the world starting with you…

whichway8

When believers try (but fail) to follow Jesus, I say “it’s no big deal.”  I think it’s an opportunity to repent, be thankful that our self-worth doesn’t come from our performance, and try again (not to mention to LEARN stuff from our failure – we learn nothing from our successes, we can only learn when we fail at something)…  There are “Christians” out there who like to play moral-cop and condemn everyone they see failing – that’s a really fun game until you take a good look at yourself!  I know this from experience: the most judgmental people (of those who try to follow Jesus) are also the most joyless in their private lives.  So I know we fail sometimes…often unfortunately, but that’s nothing to condemn ourselves about, it’s something to rejoice in Jesus about.  The reason I’m making this disclaimer is there’s one key thing Jesus asks us to DO, and it’s something we fail in often, but if we were to do it and not-give-up, we’d see ourselves change, the world change, and the people around us would get a clearer idea of what Jesus actually did and taught…  What is it? Continue reading

Top ten reasons not to listen to God

fishies8

So part of “following Jesus” means doing things that He says to do…stuff that we would not otherwise do on our own.  So if you love your parents and the Bible says, “honor your father and mother,” then good for you, you were already probably doing that.  But the “following” part really kicks in when it’s something you would NOT do.  One of the ways to know that you are being “led” is that you are aware of things (daily) that you would not ordinarily choose to do: it’s the opposite of smug self satisfied religion that people use to tell “other” people what to do… You often see Jesus telling disciples to do stuff, but you don’t really see Him tell people to tell OTHER people to do stuff; He knew us too well to do that.  And when disciples do talk to other people about what Jesus wants, real Jesus followers are gentle about it because they know they’re the biggest sinner of all.  Anyway, so what are the top reasons we give NOT to do what God says? Continue reading

Eating every day…

014

You know that time when God seemed BIG, and everything just came into clearer perspective?  When you vowed you wouldn’t obsess about your looks, or status symbols, or money, and swore to yourself you’d live for Jesus?  It all felt so real and so clear… and at that moment it was easier to forgive, easier to love, easier to give it all to Jesus.  But then later it just fizzled away.  What happened?  Was it all just emotions?  Why don’t I feel that way right now?  If you really want to know it’s very very simple, and what we need to do is simple too. Continue reading

Being bad at worship…

mtsinai5Jesus says we’re bad at worship: You can go worship on the right mountain, you can know the Scripture accurately, you can pray the right words (and mean them)…and yet not actually bow down in your heart to God…not acknowledge God’s worth, or “lift up His name.” So some examples we talked about (past couple of Sundays) was: our singing can be heartfelt and energetic, and elevate our emotions, or elevate performers rather than elevate God. The same goes for sermons or Christian books… it’s more often we read a “great” Christian book (or listen to a new worship CD) and think “what a great book!” (or author, or performer!) instead of truly thinking, “What an amazing God!” This is why so many Christians are connoisseurs… Connoisseurs of worship music, connoisseurs of preachers, connoisseurs of churches…instead of passionate Jesus followers! Continue reading

Fill ‘er up!

fillerup5 Here’s a quick thought: if you could be “filled” with anything (if your life could be filled with anything you chose) then what would it be?

1. Filled with Recognition: for people to see how great you are and admire you.  THEN I’ll really be living life!

2. Filled with Money: the ability to buy what you want, when you want, and not have to worry about the cost.  THEN I’ll really be living life!

3. Filled with Pleasure: Yes, get your mind out of the gutter!  Having great food and mind-blowing activities, and incredible travel adventures…  THEN I’ll really be living life! Continue reading