Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Running Hard

David, my pastor at The Vine, mentioned a book a couple of weeks ago called The Pursuit of God , by A. W. Tozer.  I ordered it, trusting his recommendation, and read the first chapter this morning.  It is almost unimaginable to me how 10 pages of text could have the potential life-changing affect that Tozer desired for his readers.  In trying to summarize the first chapter in my head, it seems impossible, as every paragraph, sentence and word seems to be packed with truth.  Here is my feeble attempt.  
We are only able to pursue God, because he first pursued us.   While my distraction with the things of this world, and my neglect of Him, is a mockery of all that He intends for us, He knows my every weakness better than I do, and is fully available to help me.  He wants us to be running hard after Him, but all the while, He is holding us in his hand.  A starting place for today is a simple prayer uttered by Moses, "Show me your glory."

In looking for the recent song of the same name made popular by Third Day for some musical support for today's post, I found this version that I have never heard before by Jesus Culture.  It is reassuring to me that the words of Moses uttered 3500 years ago, and written about in Tozer's book in 1948, remain powerful and relevant still today.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Breath of Life

This month at church, our pastor is leading a series entitled "Best Year Ever".  Last Sunday, he talked about different types of prayer.  One that hit home with me was the idea of using a "breath prayer" - a short prayer that can be repeated throughout the day that is almost as easy as taking a breath.  The simpler the better.  "Jesus brings peace".  "God is love".  "Help me to love more".   I landed on one that is a little longer that came from Paul in Ephesians.  "I am God's handiwork, created in Jesus, to do good works that He has already planned for me."  I can't say that it is as easy as breathing for me, but I have thought of it multiple times throughout the day, and I love that what you focus your mind on gets bigger.  I want Jesus to keep getting bigger for me.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Connect The Dots

I had the pleasure of meeting with some other leaders last night that are investing in the small group program at our church, which we call Connect Groups.  If you aren't familiar with small groups, it's kind of like Sunday School, but we don't meet on Sundays, and we mostly meet in member's homes.  The program has grown to include 23 groups and most of the growth has been encouraged, nurtured and prayed over by one of our staff, Gus Bishop.  Gus has a heart to know Jesus intimately and to help others know Him more, too.  I am have been blessed to participate in the program and feel like it is the key to me developing meaningful relationships with others who have a common interest in learning to love Jesus and others more.  This video introduces Gus and our other staff and also offers a time of worship.  Come visit us at The Vine.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Hot diggity dawg

I had the privilege of attending the Rose Bowl parade and Rose Bowl semi-final in Pasadena this week.  Needless to say, it was a magical weekend that I was able to enjoy with my wife, my kids and their spouses.  I loved seeing the Dawgs chopping wood until the end, and I loved seeing Sony Michel end the game with his overtime touchdown run.  You may have seen this video a couple of years ago, but it is fun to watch this again now, knowing all that he has done and all that he has become.  Stories like this one make football more than a game.