Lectio Divina – Psalm 23

This weekend I was able to be part of a men’s retreat led by Brian Hardin of the Daily Audio Bible. It was a great chance to get away for a day and enjoy God’s presence with some other men – some who I share life with, and some that I had never met before. That sounds like the cliche description of a men’s retreat, but it really was a great piece of the weekend. During the retreat we shared a few discussions about the importance of having the Bible in our lives. Not as a ritual or something we check off our list every day, but as a true companion through life. I’ve come to love the time I spend in the word through the Daily Audio Bible, but have been wanting to find a way to step back and dig in a bit more lately beyond my daily chunk of the Word and a weekly visit to church to hear a sermon. Brian shared a model with us known as Lectio Divina. It’s an ancient method of diving into God’s word in a way that, to me, is much more “whole” than the simply reading or listening to of a passage and then going on with life. It’s almost like making a meal out of the Word… you pick your food, you chew on it, you chew on it some more, you process it, and it eventually is transformed into the energy that gives you LIFE. I’m not going into detail on Lectio Divina here, though… I want to jot down something specific to my story (since...

This. Is. The. Day.

THIS IS THE DAY THAT THE LORD HAS MADE; I WILL REJOICE AND BE GLAD IN IT. This Today, not tomorrow. I do not need to worry about any of them, and that includes today. I may focus freely on what God has place ahead of me in the next 24 hours, one moment at a time. Is Not “was.” Not “will be.” IS. Right here and now. All planning for today has led me to this moment. What will I do with it now? Every moment that goes by is either lost or gained ground for the rest of my life, and eternity. The Today is no ordinary day. It will never be repeated, and is not just one out of thousands that I will live. Day 24 hours. 1,440 minutes. 86,400 seconds. Tick tock, tick tock. I thank God for the daily “reset” he gives us. That the Lord The one with authority over all the universe is the one bringing me this day, this sunrise, this rain, and these moments. He has authority to determine its outocome and its contents, and I can TRUST Him. has made So much of life seems random, disconnected… but Today is not such a thing. The Lord has preordained moments for me today; some of them mundane, or so they may seem. But every moment, every second, is part of His plan, and has been since long before the creation of the universe. I Even though God has made this new day, He has left the choice of how to respond to it open to me. I am free to...

Weariness and Motivation

I’m in one of those seasons of life where tiredness, and even exhaustion, is more than something felt more than at certain points of the day… it’s more of a permanent state of mind. A big part of it, I’m sure, is the “role” I’ve taken on as “family-member-with-the-1AM-to-6AM-feeding-shift.” Add to that some significant focus on planning and changing my business model, a coaching role that can easily take up 1-2 hours a day, and then all the other stuff that comes with being a man, husband, and father. Oh, and then all those things that tug at my heart with signifance beyond my own little world. But that’s not what’s captured my attention. What’s captured my attention is that even though I’m averaging 4-6 hours of sleep a night, almost guaranteed to be interupted at some point… when that moment of interuption comes, I’m up, awake, and ready to go. But a few months ago, before the baby was born and my sleep was only stopped by an alarm clock or a body finally rested enough to wake up on it’s own, I’d have a terrible time waking up. I’ve felt more energy, more drive, and even more satisfaction with these long, tiring days than I’ve felt in a long time. What’s the difference? What’s my motivation? I’ve often looked at people of old whose stories I love and how they would only get a few hours of sleep every night. I would long for that to be my own state of mind, that I could power nap for a couple hours and then be ready to hit...

Affirmations – A Discussion with Youth

Tonight I’m once again leading the youth group at our church. Tonight we’re going to talk about Affirmations. An affirmation is telling yourself, in times of doubt, that which you know to be true at other times. This takes some forethought, of course, because that time of doubt when you need that nugget of truth is not the time to go discovering it. Tonight I’m going to talk with the youth about some of the affirmations we may already hold (positive and negative) and work with them to develop a couple on a note card they can take home and put on their bathroom mirror or something. I love this popular youtube video about the young girl who knows all about these statements of truth. Even if this is prepared for video, the fact that this girl has these statements memorized and can recite them with passion and emotion makes me say “Bravo, parents. You’re doing well.” I’m not a big fan of making statements about who you want to be and feeling that just because you say it sincerely of often enough that it will become reality. I am a fan of dreaming, and am also learning even now how to take those dreams, crystallize them into goals, and see them come to be reality. But if something’s already true, why do we need to put it into a verbal sentence, much less write it down, and even less than that, put it somewhere we see it every day? The fact is, “statements of truth” are proposed to us every day. Whether it’s the massive amounts of stories...

The Voice of Truth – My Source of Help

As I push mowed my lawn this weekend, I had a song stuck in my head. It’s called “The Voice of Truth” by a group called Casting Crowns. The first verse goes like this: Oh what I would do to haveThe kind of faith it takesTo climb out of this boat I’m inOnto the crashing waves To step out of my comfort zoneInto the realm of the unknown where Jesus isAnd He’s holding out His hand But the waves are calling out my nameAnd they laugh at meReminding me of all the timesI’ve tried before and failedThe waves they keep on telling meTime and time again. “Boy, you’ll never win!”“You’ll never win!” But the voice of truth tells me a different storyThe voice of truth says, “Do not be afraid!”The voice of truth says, “This is for My glory”Out of all the voices calling out to meI will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth. This song, in case you’re wondering, is referring back to the story of Jesus’ follower named Peter who was invited to step out of a boat in the middle of a sea and walk on water. Quite a feat of faith, if you ask me… even to simply get out of the boat! How many of us would even have the thought. I think the thing about Peter was that he quite often acted before he thought, and while that may also lead to rash, un-thought-out actions, in this case… the guy defied physics, at least for a few seconds. I like how the song compares the voice of truth with all...