Friday, November 25, 2005

Friday, November 18, 2005

Morning of Solitude

I participated in a "Morning of Solitude" Thursday morning which was called by our pastor. We were just to show up at a certain parking lot near one of the walking trails in our suburban city's parks system. The plan was to walk alone and pray and think for as much of three hours as we could.

It was a great time. The air was very cool and the sky was bright blue without a cloud. It's been a while since I took a big chunk of time to just be quiet before the Lord. I feel like I received some real insight from Him on the trail.

Do you occasionally take extended time to just be quiet with our amazing God?

A long time ago I heard a cute little way to remember to do this and the principle has always stuck with me (though I rarely execute it well). What follows each bullet is "my take" on what those words mean.

  • Divert Daily - a daily "quiet time" with God
  • Withdraw Weekly - block out an extended hour or two weekly to spend in worship, meditation, God's word
  • Quit Quarterly - take a day each quarter to get away and refuel
  • Assess Annually - take a retreat overnight annually to dig in and assess how the year has gone and what should be different next year

Thanks, Gene, for calling us to that morning of solitude. Right now my life is running so fast that it takes someone else making me slow down and refresh.

BTW... have you heard Crowder's new tune "Here is our King". I am loving that song! Who are your favorite worship leaders, bands these days?

Thursday, November 17, 2005


I've been thinking about a simple acrostic that I heard recently from someone who does "life coaching".

Goal - Articulate what it is that you want to do or feel called to do.

Reality - Discern the realities of your current life situation.

Options - Think inside and outside the box for ways to accomplish your goals given your present reality

Will - Decide on an option and do it.

I need to spend some time and work through this process in several areas of life. While the model looks simple, I think each of the four steps is pretty difficult. I remember in the early part of our marriage when Deb and I went through a course on managing personal finances. It wasn't like Crown; the teachers looked at all of your budget and actual numbers and counseled you one-on-one. As we were being counseled by this guy, he kept saying that I wasn't talking about reality. He forced me to look hard at the numbers and see that my idealistic thoughts about my money were not in the realm of the real.

I think growing is difficult in these ways. A clear goal can be hard to see. Reality is hard to face. Options are hard to find especially when realities seem to extinguish goals. Will is hard to muster.

Have you ever used a life coach?
Have you ever formally used the G.R.O.W. process?
Is there an area of your life that would benefit from systematically going through this process?

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Good Week

Sometimes I don't feel like I do that much good at church. I know I probably do, but I don't always see real fruit up-close and personal. This week was different.

I've been leading out on making our hospitality better on Sunday mornings before worship. I've got different LifeGroups each week bringing juice and snacks. A couple of people man the food table while others act as greeters in the atrium.

Last Sunday I was out there in the atrium with the LifeGroup doing this. I met a middle aged couple who were just coming back to church for the first time since childhood. We had a good conversation. I told them about some LifeGroups. I followed up with them later in the week. They said they were planning to come back this Sunday. They showed up today and I was able to introduce them to another LifeGroup leader and they exchanged contact info. Maybe this couple will stick and see their lives transformed as they are in community with our church body.

Today our greeters introduced me to a lady with her two children. They had just moved here from the mid-west. It was a great pleasure to show her around as we dropped her 10th grader off with our great youth guys and as we dropped her kindergarten child off with my wife for a great program up in Adventure Street. I'll follow up this week with two contacts for getting in a LifeGroup.

We started our new LifeGroup on Thursday night. It was cool to have our neighbor come and her daughter to do childcare for us. Had good fellowship and good chips, salsa and ice cream! I pray that this group takes off and that all of our lives are transformed through it.

Just excited to be making a small difference in some lives...

Friday, November 11, 2005

Being anxious

Erwin's podcast on "Extraordinary Excellence" really nailed something for me this morning.

It was just a small segment of the message... He said that we become anxious when we:
1) Try to control things that are not our business to control
2) Neglect to take action on things that are our business to control

Where am I currently anxious? In exactly those two ways...
I'm thinking too much on church issues that I'm not in a position to control.
I'm thinking too little about areas I am meant to control... like personal finances, health, discipline of kids, etc.

I need to break these patterns. Maybe I should do a mental exercise for a while... every time I find myself putting energy and thought power behind something I can't control I'll consciously shift my thinking over to spend 10 or 15 minutes working on something I can and should control.

Do you resonate with what Erwin is saying?
Are you anxious because there are things you are trying to control and shouldn't?
Are you anxious because there are things you should be working on but aren't?