Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Praying through the phone

So, scripture in 1 Thessalonians 5 and elsewhere guides us to be in prayer, to be in touch with God, to throw up our hearts to Her at all times. I've often wondered how to make that practical, how to find ways that will assist me in doing this.

Last night I accidently discovered a method I plan on using again in the future. I was editing my contact list on my phone, which includes family, youth workers, friends, pastoral staff, teens. It reminded me of many of their situations and so I began to pray for them as I went down through the list. So, now, I think I may use this method again. Praying through my contact info...

This has piqued my interest. Are there any practical methods you have found to pray continually? I'd be interested in finding out...

[an addendum to the original post: you can have prayers text messaged directly to your phone. check it out! Ha! For only 7.99 a month! Nobody said prayer was cheap.]

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

can forgiveness happen before anything has happened?

I have a hard time with saying that God has forgiven me before I have even sinned.

Forgiveness is a release.

Forgiveness is an expression of love.

Forgiveness is not a token. It is a relational expression.

We can say that God loved us before we sinned. But did he forgive us before we did?

Forgiveness is a releasing. How can you release something before it is even in existence?

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

My favorite shows

so i am happy, but i am torn. both of my favorite shows are back on the air.

Jack Bauer rejoined the USA fight against terror in 24 on Fox.

And Heroes rejoined the scene on NBC.

But here is the dilemma: they both air at 9 on Mondays. What show should I watch?

Well, I have found a compromise. Heroes actually airs online the day after! So, I shall watch 24 at night and then enjoy Heroes the next day. Hooray!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Saints and Stains

Reading The Holy Longing by Ronald Rolheiser for a seminary course...there were sections of the book that left me feeling naked and cold and other sections that warmed me to the core.

One section that did both to me was the chapter of the book dedicated to the community of faith. Here are some thoughts spawned from it...

In the church we have saints and stains. We have the greatness of God and the fraility of humanity. We have a peace that lasts and the daily grind that disrupts any efforts for peace. We have the promise of forgiveness and the continuing selfishness that builds bitterness and emotional distance.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Get Messy

When you read the gospels about Jesus, you find him constantly touching people and allowing himself to be touched. I wonder what this has to say to us about how we related to others. Jesus seemed to have a way about him that was open to anybody who came near him. He'd pick up kids and put them on his lap, he'd speak to prostitutes, he'd touch lepers, he'd let prostitutes clean his feet (which had a whole different meaning then than it does now).
And he never promised that changing the world would be a clean cut thing. It seems that whenever you get into a relationship with someone you really discover that it is a messy process. Our challenge to our youth group this year is to get messy, to dive into others lives and seek to love people right where they are.
One of Jesus' most famous parables was the mustard seed parable, where he said that the Kingdom of God is like a mustard seed that grows and becomes a tree that birds can perch in. (It's great how Jesus uses stories and makes you actually process what he is saying, rather than just dumping info into you.) We had a friend, Brad Grinnen, come and explore those thoughts with our senior high youth this past weekend and it was quite the weekend. I am excited to see how our kids own what God is doing in their lives and seek to plant seeds of love, grace and mercy in the lives around them.