Archive for the ‘Spirituality’ Category

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

>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