Archive for the ‘God’ Category

Last week while upstairs ironing a shirt I heard a pop downstairs followed by yelling and crying. My oldest son had hit my youngest son in the face out of anger. I sent him to my room to wait for me. He knew what was coming. I took my time. (I never spank my kids while angry.) Once in the room I shared with him my deep love for him and why he was being spanked. My 7yr old understood clearly that I loved him and because I loved him I needed to correct his behavior.

No one likes to be corrected. I know I don’t. Even if I know I’m wrong I can feel my pride invading every fiber of my being when someone points out a  mistake (even a small one) to correct me. Why is that my 7yr old can understand the idea of sowing and reaping, poor judgement and correction, but as adults we many times don’t have the ability to receive correction well?

Obviously, pride is the main issue and hardly needs explanation. A secondary issue that I believe is not addressed is motivation. Many of us cannot receive correction from others because we don’t honestly believe that the person bringing the correction truly loves us. Our insecurity shines through as we tell ourselves, “They’re just on a power trip”, “Who do they think they are?”, “They don’t have the right to….”, “Why don’t you come talk to me when you’re perfect!”

But what if they really love you? What if they truly want God’s best for you? What if God is speaking through them?

Hebrews 12:5–7  And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. 6 For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?   (ESV)

Proverbs 12:1  Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,but he who hates reproof is stupid.   (ESV)

Experiencing dysfunctional correction by others in the past doesn’t make correction in the present bad. God many times uses people in our lives to bring loving correction to us: spouses, friends, pastors, co-workers and even strangers.

It’s such a beautiful thing to witness someone receive correction with humility and truly own it. God help me stay in that place.

What about you? How has God brought correction to you through others? Would you mind sharing below?

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Even at 35 I still find myself constantly learning about myself.  Here is what I wanted to share with you:

I need alone time.  

I’m not talking about just my daily prayer and Bible study in the morning at my office. I need an extended time of solitude and prayer that happens on a regular basis where I make time for solitude in my life. You’d think that wouldn’t be a shocker to me as a pastor, but it was. After sharing this with me wife, she said, “Umm, I knew that.”  Apparently, I didn’t.

I thought because my pastoral role was so “people” centered that I wasn’t the type that needed to be alone much. I was wrong.  Here are some of the signs that I notice when I haven’t had that alone time: physically stressed, short with Erin and the boys, frustrated about inconsequential issues, easily annoyed by people and directed apathy toward things I usually value.

You might be thinking, “Nathan, who doesn’t feel that way sometimes?”. I agree, people have bad days, but am I feeling that way on a consistent basis? Those signs are merely symptoms of the real issue: I’m trying to carry life on my own. When I spend an extended time in prayer and meditation on scripture I come away from that time with my heart aligned with Christ’s heart. My circumstances might not be any different, but my perspective is.

Maybe like me you’ve told yourself,”My schedule can’t afford that kind of time away.”  The truth is that you and I can’t afford not to make the time. Pull out the calendar and make an appointment with yourself and God. Get creative on when and where you can have this time. Do it.

 

He’s Waiting,

Nathan

>Do Overs….

Posted: June 1, 2009 in God, Life, relationships

>What happens when you are hit hard with the reality that life has not gone the way you had planned it? The Play of your life has not played out the way you wrote it. People aren’t reading their lines as you envisioned. Your friendships, your marriage, your family, your career…even you yourself have not turned out the way you wanted.

Sometimes things turn out better than we expected, but many times we find ourselves frustrated and discontent with how the cookie has crumbled. This discontent can leave marriages and families in ruins, careers in disarray and relationships struggling. I believe our life is made up of a combination of our choices, the choices of others and a sovereign God. While our circumstances can many times be a great motivation for us to move forward we can also end up spending way too much time looking at the past with regret and viewing the future as a fix. What we miss out on is the present. Don’t.

Live the present,

Nathan

>Recently I was in a conversation with a young adult that was making a run at “coming back to church”. He stated that he had been coming to church only on holidays (Easter and Christmas) but felt like God would be alot more happier with Him if he started coming back to church.

I shared with him that I thought it was great that he was here, but I also shared with him that God is really more concerned about some other priorities instead of checking off on his clip board that he had gone to church or not. Mark chapter `12 qoutes Jesus stating the two greatest commandments, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no cmmandment greater than these. A man replied to Jesus agreeing with him saying, “To love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all the burnt offerings and sacrifces.”

Jesus is alot more concerned with our relationship with God than he is on our attendance @ church. Now I believe that going to church and being in community with other believers can be one of the things that strengthens our relationship with God, but I know A TON of people that think that alone does it for them. It’s about intimacy. A person could be in church every sunday of the year and never have an intimate moment with God. Intimacy equals vulnerablity. When was the last time you were vulnerbale before God? It’s the heart that Christ is interested in. You love God? Then you’ll want to hang out with Him and His people.

Let’s equate these “burnt offerings and sacrifices” that this man talking to Jesus brings up as doing anything of a religious nature to please God. Jesus agrees with the man’s assessment. God cares more about us loving others then us checking the box on a religous to do list. David said it this way in the Psalm 51: 16-17, “You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacfrices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” NASV God wants your heart. If he has your heart he has your life. If we aren’t willing to make others a priority by loving them as Christ asks us to, then how does sacrificing to God our time, resources and energy make any sense? Love God, Love people. Let’s get busy checking those boxes.

He’s Watching,

Nathan