Just Stop and Think

Morning readers! Today is another day that has been given to you by Him. I hope that it has been great so far. We have one more chapter in Francis Chan’s Forgotten God to go, but I wanted to share my thoughts at the moment.

With the crazy, non-stop world we live in today, do you ever sit back and take a moment to just stop and think? Do you even have the time to really think about the actions you take day in and day out?

As I get older, a statement my dad said to me as a child becomes more and more clear.

“Think before you act.”

I recently watched a video that Francis Chan called “Just Stop and Think” and it really made me, well, stop and think. It is 15 minutes long, so turn up your speakers, gather the family, and watch the following video. It will forever change you life!

Until next time readers, God Bless!

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The Job Hunt Continues

Hello readers. I hope every one of you is doing well today. Today I wanted to do a little bit more personal post than usual. I hope you don’t mind.

Currently, I am unemployed. Today is January 27,2010. I have been unemployed since December 3, 2009. There are several feelings that come to mind when I think about this period of my life. Most of these feelings aren’t the best in the world. On the bright side, there are several things that may not have happened during this period if I was employed.

The feelings that come to mind when I think of myself as unemployed are those like I said, not the best in the world. They mostly those that would fit in the category of depression (ie. failure, disappointment, not being able to provide for my wife and I, etc..).

I have searched for jobs in my area in fields I have experience in, and well nothing. I have had a couple of interviews, even ones with second and third interviews for the same position, but still nothing. I recently completed my college education, and that isn’t even helping me out.

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On the bright side of things, I have done some things in this amount of time that I probably wouldn’t have done, or wouldn’t have been able to do much of.

I started this blog. Yeah, I have blogged before, but not to this extent, and not with this much passion to do so.

I have read a book all the way through. This hasn’t happened in a long time.

I have grown closer to God.

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So, I continue to look for a job. Prayers are much-needed. I know that God will put me where I need to go, but honestly, I wish He would do it a little bit quicker.

Until next time readers, God Bless!

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Forget About His Will for Your Life!

Hello again readers! I hope all of you are having blessed days! Today we will be discussing Chapter 6 of Francis Chan’s Fogotten God. Only two more chapters to go. Let’s make them really count by opening our hearts and minds to what God is saying.

Ever ask yourself or even others, “What’s God will for my life?” There are only a few people in the Bible who got their life plan from God in advance. Abraham was one of these people. God told him to pack up his family and everything he owned and start walking. Abraham didn’t know where he was going or if he would ever return. No details were given to him at all. God said go, and he went.

Mr. Chan says we need to forget about God’s will for my life. He continues to say that God cares more about our response to His Spirit’s leading today, in this moment, than about what we intend to do next year. In fact, the decisions we make next year will be profoundly affected by the degree to which we submit to the Spirit right now, in today’s decisions.

It is easy to use the phrase “God’s will for my life” as an excuse for inaction or even disobedience. It’s much less demanding to think about God’s will for your future than it is to ask Him what He wants you to do in the next ten minutes. It’s safer to commit to following Him someday instead of this day.

Do you agree with the last two paragraphs above? It makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it?

God wants us to listen to the Holy Spirit on a daily basis, and even during the day, as difficult and stretching moments arise, and in the midst of the mundane. We need to learn to pray for an open and willing heart, to surrender to the Spirit’s leading that friend, child, spouse, circumstance, or decision in our lives right now.

In Galatians we read Paul say the following:

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh…. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit” (5:16, 25).

Questions I wanna leave with you today:

  1. What does your walk with Christ and the Holy Spirit look like?
  2. Are you following the direction of the Holy Spirit, or are you wanting the Holy Spirit to follow you?

Until next time readers, God Bless!

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A Real Relationship (part 2)

Afternoon readers. Today we are going to continue Chapter 5 of Francis Chan’s Forgotten God. As mentioned in a part 1, this post is going to cover two obstacles that may be stopping you from having real intimacy with God.

Comfort (Maybe Your Life Is Too Safe)

The first obstacle Mr. Chan presents is comfort. The Bible says that the Spirit comes through in times where we would normally be afraid (Luke 12:11-12). Jesus refers the Spirit as the “Helper” or “Comforter.” Mr Chan asks a great question here.

Why would we need to experience the Comforter if our lives are already comfortable?

The Bible says that it is those who put their lives at risk and suffer for the gospel (Phil. 1:29) who will most often experience His being “with you always, even to the end of age” (Matt. 28:20 NASB).

Are you being too comfortable?

Volume (Maybe Your Life is Too Loud)

I like the question that Mr. Chan asks at the beginning of this section.

When was the last time you had an uninterrupted conversation with anyone? No phones, text messages, or to-do lists running through your mind?

Some of us would have to think for a while to come up with that answer. Our lives are becoming so fast paced and full of continual multitasking, it is hard to focus on one thing or one person. This constant going and going and going probably has affected your prayer life, I know it has affected mine.

Jesus didn’t get to experience the technology we have today, but he did have tons of people pursuing Him at once. At any given part of the day, people were looking for Jesus. He had the priority of His relationship with His Father, and found ways to escape. He took the time to focus and be quiet (Mark 1:35). He was willing to remove Himself from people’s reach in order to pray and commune with God the Father.

Mr.Chan says something so true here.

Our lack of intimacy often is due to our refusal to unplug and shut off communication from all others so we can be alone with him.

Francis challenges us at the end of this chapter to read John 14-16. He tells us to get in a space free from distraction and soak in the words we read. He says to notice particularly how Christ desires that His disciples have peace and how He comforts His disciples with the truth that they are not left alone. Part of His answer to how we are to have peace and be comforted is through the provision of the Holy Spirit, the other Counselor, who He promised would come one He left.

So right now, take the time to read John 14-16. Afterward, come back for today’s questions.

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  1. Does your personal baggage keep you from enjoying intimacy with God?
  2. Do you ever want to distance yourself from Him because you feel so much shame over your sin?
  3. What obstacles do you have in your life keeping you from Him?

Until next time readers, God Bless!


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A Real Relationship (part 1)

Good afternoon readers. I am super excited today. Today I graduated from college. Took me a while to do it, but I can finally say I am a college graduate. On another note, we are a little over half-way done with Francis Chan’s Forgotten God. Today we will be covering Chapter 5.

I like what Mr. Chan says in the beginning of this chapter. Serving God and living faithfully can become a constant guilt trip of “trying harder” and “doing better next time.” Can you relate with that? I know I can. Several times in my life, I have felt like I have been a failure by not living up to people’s expectations. Being insecure in what I do, and in relationships is something I deal with often. Insecurity in our personal lives can hinder the relationship we have with God. How?

Mr. Chan says it perfectly here.

Our upbringings definitely can create challenges for us. Some of us have wounds so deep that we wonder if we’ll ever be able to trust. Perhaps we’ve subconsciously taken the failures from sinful human relationships and imposed those shortcomings onto a perfect God. Now uncertainty creeps into your relationship with God.

It is the Holy Spirit who keeps us from this path and gives us confidence so we can enjoy intimacy with our Creator. Though I do not believe God gives us His Spirit solely for our personal benefit, it is undeniable that one of the greatest aspects of being in relationship with the Holy Spirit is the intimacy, security, and encouragement He brings us. It is then we can serve God as a beloved child rather than a stressed-out, guilt-ridden slave.

Wow! That is a true and powerful statement!

In the Bible, Galatians 4:9 teaches us to destroy the strongholds of earning and insecurity.

But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more?

In Galatians 4:6-7, Paul says this:

“Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father’, so you are no longer slaves, but God’s children; and since you are his children, he has made you also heirs.”

Paul also writes to the Romans in Romans 8:15-17

For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs— heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.

After reading this, you may feel that you are totally in touch with the Holy Spirit. That is awesome! Maybe you are reading that and thinking that you really don’t experience that kind of closeness with God where you are crying out to Him.

In the next post, I will go over two potential obstacles that Mr. Chan says to consider:

Comfort and Volume.

Until next time readers, God Bless!

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Forgotten God– A Reflection

Hello readers. I just wanted to take some time and reflect over what we have read in Francis Chan’s Forgotten God. We have covered through Chapter 4, and it has been an amazing journey for me. I have learned so much about the Holy Spirit and myself. I believe I am a different person after even reading just these couple of chapters.

I wanted to share a verse with you that is currently on my heart right now.

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away ll I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. — 1 Cor. 13:1-3

What are you thoughts and feelings after reading Chapter 1-4?

Until next time readers, God Bless!

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Why Do You Want Him? (part 2)

Hello again readers. I hope you had a great weekend. I did my monthly volunteering at NorthChurch.tv I always enjoy doing that. Other than that, not much really happened here in Oklahoma.

Today, we are going to pick up where we left off in Francis Chan’s Forgotten God. We are in Chapter 4 for those who have just joined us.

In part 1, we were asked the question:

Why do you desire the Holy Spirit’s activity in your life?

Below, Mr. Chan explains some of the reasons why we as humans desire Him.

Attention

I like what Francis says here. I am sure you will agree with me that some Christians witness to others and use the Holy Spirit to draw attention to themselves. The Holy Spirit works to glorify Christ (John 16:14), and that is what we are supposed to be doing. We are to be glorifying Him, and not ourselves.

The Bible has a great example of this in 1 Cor. 14:23-33. The Corinthian church basically liked to draw attention to themselves. By doing this, the church became chaotic. The people in the church really weren’t concerned with the betterment of the church. They were trying to use the manifestations of the Spirit for their own glorification. They ended up all fighting for attention, which resulted in mass confusion as everyone tried to talk at once.

Miracle Hunting

Another reason we as humans desire the Holy Spirit is to witness a miracle. Mr. Chan really explains this well. Wanting to talk about supernatural things like miracles, healing or prophecy is a great thing to think about, but focusing on it too much can get us off the true path of pursuing Him. God calls us to pursue Him, not what He might do for us or even in our midst. God does miracles when He sees fit and for His own purposes.

Followers or Leaders?

Are you a follower or a leader? Many times, people try to lead the Holy Spirit instead of following Him. The Holy Spirit was given to us to direct us. I like what Mr. Chan says here. The Spirit is not a passive power that we can wield as we choose. The Spirit is God, a Being who requires that we submit ourselves to be led by Him.

The Right Reason

As Christians, we need to desire the Holy Spirit for the right reason.

The Spirit is intentional as He apportions these spiritual gifts to each person, according to His will and purposes. The most obvious and stated purpose of these manifestations is for the good and edification of the church. The Spirit desires to use us when our hearts are aligned with this vision, when we are filled with genuine love for the church, and when we desire to see the church grow in love for God and others.

Here are a few questions I want to leave you with today.

  1. Do you believe the church needs you like a body needs a mouth?
  2. Why do you desire the Holy Spirit? Is it to glorify yourself or is it to glorify Him?

Until next time readers, God Bless!

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