Game Plan: Daily Bible Reading

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Imagine being in a relationship and only talking to your boyfriend/ girlfriend for 10-15 minutes a day. Do you think you’d end up being married in a years time? I don’t think so. This week, I’ve been struggling with my daily Bible reading, my alone time with God. As a result, I have felt the impact of my non-reading physically, mentally, and spiritually. I feel like I am drowning and it is only Tuesday. Tuesday! So, I have decided right this moment to come up with a game plan to actively recommit myself:

1. Being Purposeful – I need to actively schedule a time, everyday, to sit down and read God’s Word. I know that mornings are hit and miss for me. Which leaves me with 2 choices:

  • Reading over my lunch break, or…
  • Reading right before bed. I would definitely have to commit to developing a better bedtime routine to make this happen.

2. The Prayer Perspective – Prayer, communicating with God, is not a one time deal sort of thing. Prayer, in my mind, is something that should be continuously flowing throughout the day. Everyday, I need to be praying for a God perspective. That is to say that I view the world through God’s eyes. When we step out of our own perspectives and see the bigger picture, it allows us to pray about things beyond ourselves.

On my way to work, there is a sign posted in a neighborhood yard that says, “Pray for John”. Now, I have no clue who John is. John could be the elderly man I see sitting in the garage watching cars go by. Whoever John is, he needs prayer. I find myself often randomly praying for John as I drive by. Do I benefit from this? No. Does John? Yes. I need to be in prayer daily not only for myself (overcoming temptations,etc.) but for the world around me. I need a God perspective and NOT a me perspective.

That’s it! By committing to a specific time of day (and remaining flexible) and engaging in prayer through God’s eyes, I should be able to radically change my messed up week. Should be simple enough to follow right? I’ll let you know how it goes as the week progresses.

President Kennedy Visits Ireland

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Over lunch, I happened to watch a PBS documentary on President Kennedy’s visit to Ireland, in 1963. Crowds gathered everywhere to see the President who had led America through the Cuban Missile Crisis some 9 months earlier. Beyond the crowds, the very faces of the people themselves are what captivated me. One would think that President Kennedy’s visit was the second coming of Christ. Joy-filled faces, reaching out to touch or to simply catch a glimpse of the American President filled the screen. For some reason, this awestruck scene reminded me of wave that swept now President Obama into the White House.

I think that we, as Americans, get excited about ideas. Be it flying among the clouds or carrying a Swiss Army Knife-like cell phone, we are always pushing the boundaries forward, testing what is and is not possible. I think that that is what carried President Obama into office. The very idea that an African American could become President of the United States was too big of a thought to pass up. So a majority of Americans voted him into office.

After nearly 4 years of leading the United States, President Obama’s time is running out. Though he is running for a second term, he now has a track record to back up his lofty speeches. The word “hope” no longer has the optimistic tone it once did. We have seen Obama polarize our country in ways he swore would never happen; we have seen how his words lead to little action.

President Obama is certainly no John F. Kennedy. However, JFK was not all he was cracked up to be either. I can’t wait to see what the November elections bring.

Lack of Leadership

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The Longview News-Journal ran an article yesterday on the possible closure of a local VFW post. Why closure? Lack of members willing to step up into leadership positions.

“The problem is, we don’t have enough members who want to serve,” said former Post Commander Joe Crenshaw.

I have witnessed this “me-driven” phenomena for quite sometime now. People just aren’t willing to step up and take responsibility. On the church level, I have seen this in the lack of volunteers wanting to serve in the children’s department. Everyone seems to be willing to drop off their kids but no one is willing to stay and serve. This is a problem.

We live in a culture today that only wants to consume. We are content to let others lead while we sit back and criticize. At some point, leaders are needed. Without guidance, without leadership, we have no direction. I want to encourage everyone today to step up, to take responsibility, and lead. Are you with me?

God: Working Behind the Scenes

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I stood out in the front yard last night watching the clouds swirl by. A storm was coming. The sky was growing darker by the minute as the clouds rotated in an eerie fashion. Sirens blared off in the distance, a tornado had been spotted in the northern part of our county. Beauty and death danced before me in the clouds, such a mix of awe and fear.

Back in the house, the weatherman was drenched in full HD glorified sweat. I openly wondered if he was going to have a heart attack. He didn’t. He did, however, rant and rave about “rotations” and “charging up your cell phone”. There was no calm, no awe in his voice, just fear.

When the weather outside is possibly life threatening and the weatherman is swamped in a fear-induced froth, I find it hard not to become fearful as well. But fearful of what? Tornadoes, “death from above” as I like to call them, are random creatures. They can be slow moving and quick to strike without notice. In other words, I have no control over them.

Journeying through life, we live under the illusion that we are in control. We aren’t. Lately, I’ve been studying through the Old Testament. Reading through the book of Joshua, I have read time and time again of God orchestrating massive events, even using evil things for good. Though we are not in control, God is. Even in times where it doesn’t seem like He is answering our prayers, He is working behind the scenes as the book of Haggai points out. But even with God in control, our daily choices still matter. Choices such as whether to let fear rule our lives, instead of the hope of Christ (for those who have accepted Him), these choices matter.

Are the clouds of fear swirling around you? Does destruction seem to be looming on the horizon? Take hope in that God is orchestrating all things for the good of those who love Him.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. – Romans 8:28 (NIV)