Are We Mishandling the Presence of God?

Ah the holiday season! Christmas music. Endless shopping. Parties. The joyful anticipation in our children’s eyes. Stressful for most. And for many, sadness. If you are like me, I can experience any or all of this each season.

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What often gets overlooked during the holiday season is the fact God made His presence known to mankind in the most personal and intimate way imaginable.

I know that, this time of year especially, can cause different emotional responses to the notion that a Supreme Being left His Holy place to vulnerably enter this world not only in human form, but birthed from a woman’s womb. Not in a clean hospital room. Not even in the comfort of a home. Instead He arranged His arrival in a barn full of animals.

That’s a hard story to accept when you really think about it. Yet I believe every part of it. Most Christians, even nominally ones, believe it to be true.

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Why Did God Create Everything?

Often the question is did God create everything or did it evolved out of nothing? I think that’s the wrong question. The question really should be—Why did God create everything?

Photo Credit: Rajesh Warange via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Rajesh Warange via Compfight cc

Why the beautiful sunsets, mile-long beaches, soaring mountains, ocean depths?

Why did he create interesting animals and millions of types of plants, both wild and tame?

Why did he create the perfect environment to sustain life?

We often ask why we exist. We wonder why we live here on this incredible planet we call home.

Did this person many call God have a reason for creating this earth, these creatures, us?

Why instill in us humans a wish to explore and wonder? Why the excitement over new discoveries? Even after centuries of human existence, we continue to lean more about this world and it’s magnificence.

Either He did create everything for a reason or He is as random as the theory of evolution.

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Sacred Space—An Interview with Author Dr. John D. Duncan (Video)

John Duncan and I attended Howard Payne University together in the early 80s, and we recently reconnected. I have enjoyed getting reacquainted  with John over the past year. I am reminded and impressed by John’s discipline, wide range of interests, and his pastor’s heart.

 

 

John has pastored churches in Texas for over 30 years, obtained a doctorate from Cambridge, and occasionally teaches. He successfully combines his knowledge, personal experiences and interests in his writing.

John gave me a copy of his book Sacred Space: The Art of Sacred Silence, Sacred Speech, and The Sacred Ear in the Echo of the Still Small Voice of God last November.

The timing was perfect for our family. My wife and I often talk about a need to slow our lives down and create, as John calls it, sacred space.

After reading the book, we both have been able to apply some of the principles John shares.

I asked John for this video interview. I appreciate that he agreed even though this is my first attempt at recording a Skype interview. So, I hope you will overlook the amateur quality and enjoy my conversation with John!

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It Shouldn’t Be Hard to Say, “Jesus Loves Me”

When our son was a baby, I sang “Jesus Loves Me” to him as I rocked him to sleep. Then as he got older and learned to talk, Danielle and I would sing Jesus Loves Me with him before he got in bed.

This song, like for so many other children, was the first song he heard and learned that told him of God’s love for him.

Chris Tomlin recently released a new song with the same title. You can watch the video below. Tomlin talks about how as we get older we feel less comfortable saying, “Jesus Loves Me.” Why is that?

Do we become too independent? Or even if we profess to follow Jesus, is it a sign of weakness or something, I don’t know, to say Jesus loves me.

May we during this Christmas season experience the simple, intimate love from Jesus. Yes, Jesus Loves Me, This I Know…

Can a Person Become a Christ Follower on a Fragment of the Truth?

I can hear them now. Those who tout knowledge of the truth over everything else. I can hear the scripture they might quote or the list of theological truths necessary to “be saved.”

My interactions with believers in foreign countries who only have a portion of God’s Word in their heart language lead me to believe that a person, any person for that matter, becomes a believer on a fragment of the Truth.

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He Calms My Storm

Our son decided about six weeks ago that he needed to wake up each night between 11pm and 1am in a complete irrational fit of rage. Some nights it lasts for five minutes. Other nights it lasts for at least 30 minutes. Needless to say, Danielle and I have had many sleepless nights. This new unwanted routine is rocking our world.

The lack of sleep for our entire family began to wear us down. Frustration, impatience, anger, and meltdowns became the norm. And, that’s just talking about me!

A storm engulfed our home and we were taking on water. I focused on the storm before me. And the storm was causing me stress, anxiety, fear…and lack of rest.

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The Ocean Speaks to Me of His Greatness

Last week we spent a week at the beach. It was colder than I wished. More Spring Break revelers than I cared for or expected. Spent a lot of my time trying to keep up with our three-year-old son. But still, I loved being at the beach.

It doesn’t matter to me whether the sun is shining or a storm is brewing. I love listening to the roar of the waves crashing into the surf; gazing into the never-ending horizon; enjoying a sunrise or sunset over the sea.

Most of all, I love how the ocean speaks to me of God’s Greatness.

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What Is Your View of God?

Is God someone who wound up this place called Earth, let it go, and now has nothing or very little to do with it? Is He a Father Time kind of figure? Is He an angry god? A loving Father? Does He exist at all?

Depending on who you talk to, no doubt you will get any of these views and more. The conversation might even become a little emotional and personal. So much so, some will not want to talk about it at all.

Have you ever thought of God as a missionary?

What does that mean you ask? Missionary, as someone who is sent from their own context or land into the context or land of another person.

When did God do that?

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Family Worship Nights

I struggle leading our family in spiritual matters. I did when it was just Danielle and me. I am no better at it now that our son is a part of the family.

When our son was first placed in our home as a foster child, I intentionally prayed over him each night. The thought that we only had a few days or weeks with him fueled that focus. However now that he is a part of our forever family, some of that intentionally has waned. I guess that is just normal human nature. But, it bothers me.

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How to Create Space for God and Host His Presence

I think that many of our so-called worship times on Sundays are no more than a concert. I prefer not to attend a lot of concerts.

However, authentic worship that creates space for God and hosts His presence attracts me.

Danielle and I attended a Bethel Worship Night last weekend. Some would call it a concert. I understand why.

However, one of the first things the worship leader said was that there was no agenda or set list to “get through”. He alerted us to the fact that there would be times of waiting which could be awkward for some.

The only agenda was to create space for God and host His presence.

Even though the title of this blog post is how to do that, I really don’t know of a formula to do that.

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