Archive for July, 2009

>Your Local Weather Man….

Posted: July 15, 2009 in Crisis, Prayer, Sad

>The last few days have been that kind of storm that the weather man some how missed. I’m sure, like me, you’ve experienced circumstances and storms that catch you off guard. I’m encouraged and strengthened by the knowledge that I’m not walking this journey alone.

A few things I think are worth learning during these times:

1. There is ALWAYS TIME TO PRAY! (You’ll “feel” and make things worse if you don’t.)

2. No matter how much you “don’t feel like it”, READ YOUR BIBLE! It is our compass, our true north as it were when it feels like our life is spinning. We need more truth, not more feelings in crisis. (Psalms 46 is a good start.)

3. Don’t believe that you have to be depressed because you encounter something heart breaking. Grieve….yes. Harbor it….no.

4. Make it a point to not make any major decisions when feeling overwhelmed. (Unless absolutely necessary).

5. Make sure you are eating right and getting plenty of rest.

6. Remember you can’t fix people and fix every circumstance. STOP CARRYING THAT RESPONSIBILITY. THE GOD position is currently filled.

7. Get off your computer now and practice doing number 1.

I mean it….Off,

Nathan

>Suffering a Good Thing?

Posted: July 14, 2009 in Uncategorized

>Found myself in a beautifully tragic place in my prayer time today. Felt on the verge of tears as I was moved by the book of Hebrews in the Bible. There is a passage in the book that points to our loving God that disciplines us through suffering:
Heb 12:7-11

7 It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8 But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9 Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. 11 All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.
NASU

This is not a politically correct passage even in Christian circles. I don’t know how many times I have heard a preacher say, “God wants His people to be in total victory in this life: Health, finances, relationships.” The irony is that Jesus lived day to day financially, had tons of strained relationships, and was murdered. It’s not because Jesus didn’t have a positive attitude or didn’t have enough faith. If Jesus Christ suffered and we are called to follow him, why do we try so hard to avoid it in America.

That victory that Christ has given to us through his death and Resurrection is COMPLETE victory over death and gives us eternal life. Not only can we endure any tragedy or hardship through God’s power but we can find ourselves more like Christ on the other side.

Embrace it,

Nathan

>I Need to Wake Up

Posted: July 10, 2009 in Christian, Money, Time Management

>Back in 1994 in Houston, TX I was coming back from a long day at my Army Reserve Training weekend. It was late at night and I was exhausted. The drive was a 25 minute drive across town and I wasn’t looking forward to it. The next thing I know I pulled into my driveway and I didn’t even remember driving home. I was so tired and on auto-pilot that I wasn’t even really processing the commute home. It scared me.

Something very similar causes me grave concern. Actually it made me sick to my stomach last night as I realized that my mindset had slipped into wanting more stuff instead investing more time and resources into the lives of people that are hurting physically and spiritually. I believe many us as Christians have become lulled asleep by a passionate pursuit to be comfortable and entertained. There seems to be a desire to accumulate wealth and more “stuff” instead of using that same drive to invest in the true mission of the Church. This world is temporary yet we don’t seem to act like it. We are on auto-pilot pursuing this “American Dream.”

Bottom Line: How is our lifestyle different from the world in regard to how we spend our time and money?

Let’s Wake Up,

Nathan

>I made the leap onto the Social Networking platform this last December by creating a profile on Facebook. I know this might sound late to some of you but I was very hesitant about the idea of people knowing everything about me or the feeling that it might steal time from an already busy schedule.

While I have found a ton of great benefits in using Facebook (connecting with people and leveraging influence), I have also found a few negatives to these Social Networking sites (Facebook, MySpace, Twitter…etc.). Here are my thoughts:

1. Self-expression overload: This generation highly values self-expression. Everyone seems to desire to have some type of artistic expression and universities are reporting exponential increase in communication majors. With that being said, do you think there is such a thing as too much disclosure? Is it dysfunctional to share EVERYTHING with EVERYONE?

2. Friendships Vs. Acquaintances: Here’s the deal we don’t really have 657 “friends”. Most of them are people we just know. A facebook friend is not always the same as an authentic relationship. Keep a good perspective on having quality relationships not so much focusing on quantity. You don’t want to wake up one day and realize all your relationships are just surface depth.

3. Time Thief: When I first got on to facebook I spent a TON of time online. My family and work paid the price. Saying yes to being online means saying no to: someone else, your work, valued projects that you want to get done and much more. I think it’s a great tool, but not at the cost of friends, family and your legacy paying the price.

Bottom Line: Don’t let your desire to express and connect online overwhelm your desire to connect and express in person.

Still Friends?,

Nathan

>The founding fathers of the United States stated that one of our unalienable rights is the “pursuit of happiness.” The dictionary definition of “happiness” is: good fortune; pleasure; contentment; joy. I have never met anyone that didn’t desire to be “happy”. Our culture plays to this common desire by trying to sell things and services that will supposedly bring one “happiness”. Most people find real “happiness” elusive because they fall for this bait of “more things”. They get caught in the “pursuit” instead of making sure what they are seeking can really be attained.

Let me ask you these questions: What to you would be complete happiness? How are you currently pursuing this course? Is what you are desiring God-centered?

What are you currently chasing that God is asking you to let go of?

Bottom line: Don’t let your freedom to pursue happiness be the very thing that enslaves you.

“Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added.” Matt. 6:33

Pursue Christ,

Nathan

>Something I hear often from people that have left a church they’ve attended or from those considering leaving their church is “we just feel we’re not being fed.” I’m sorry “What?”. What do you mean you are “not being fed”? It’s almost always people that have had a relationship with God for a long time. A new believer NEVER says, “I’m just not being fed.”

What they mean is that they don’t feel like they are being challenged or nurtured spiritually at a church. Can the local church be failing at this sometimes? Answer: Yes. But my first question when talking to someone who makes this statement is: “What are you doing to feed yourself”? Daily reading of your Bible? Regular intimate prayer time? Are you proactive in your Christian educational growth by attending classes and reading?Are you serving the Lord by serving in your local church or are you just “consuming”?

When we attend church services with the desire to be entertained we’re committing idolatry.

Realize that a pastor speaking on a Sunday is speaking to a wide spectrum of people from those just initially seeking God to those who have known Him for decades. As we grow in our maturity in our walk with God our role should be changing from just consuming at church to serving and leading.

Let’s Grow Together,

Nathan