More Than Just A Feeling

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“It’s one thing to sing about God and recite quotes about God and invoke God’s name; it’s another be aware of the presence in every taste, touch, sound, and embrace.” – Rob Bell (from the book What We Talk About When We Talk About God)

Over the past month I’ve been given the opportunity to learn about and consider spirituality and the body. This has been a great exercise in understanding God with fresh eyes and no limits. Choosing to allow myself to be more fully aware of the presence of God in all areas of life has revealed to me that God is so much bigger than I ever thought or imagined. And I would say that I used to think that God was absolutely huge.

The Rob Bell quote above gets at what I’m trying to communicate. I have slowly been realizing that my awareness of God took place in a box. As long as it fit in the box, I was good. Anything outside of the box was typically discarded immediately.

I’m realizing that being aware of God is more than just a feeling.

Because of this, I’m trying to destroy the box.

Allowing myself to encounter the presence of God through all of my senses is becoming a wonderfully new way for me to not only deepen my relationship with God, but it has helped me to notice God in the routine and mundane things of life.

Here’s to being aware of the reality of our great, and awesome God as we enjoy incredibly tasty food with friends, sniff out the most amazing smells, join our voices in the song of the redeemed, listen to the sounds of the season, and choose to express love and compassion with a simple touch.

Soul On Fire

The lyrics to this new song by Third Day and All Sons & Daughters captures where my heart is at these days as I focus on what it means to know God more deeply and be okay with simply being in His presence.

The following phrases are some of my favorites from this song.

“God, I’m Running for your Heart…” – I love the movement that comes to mind when I hear these words. I’m also a fan of how running for the heart of God is a way for me to declare that God knows best and I want what He wants.

“God, I’m Longing for your ways…” – This line is a great reminder to me that my ways fall short and I need to constantly be aware of the ways of God as they relate to all of life…relationships, work, play, learning, etc.

“In the darkness lead me through…” – Usually I want to run from the darkness or escape it. But this lyric reminds me that God can be present in our darkness and He desires to lead us through it, rather than helping us escape it. Encountering the power and presence of God in the midst of our darkness has the potential to open new and exciting doors that we never knew even existed before.

I hope you not only enjoy this great new song, but that you allow God to speak to you in the midst of it.

Centered Again

IMG_3016There’s an old Vineyard worship song entitled Come Lord. I’ve always been a fan of how simple, yet engaging the lyrics are. (I wish I could have found a link so you could listen, but unfortunately I couldn’t). Here are the lyrics:

Come Lord
Come reign
Fill this place
With the glory of Your holy name

Move our hearts
Closer to You
Come, Lord, come do
What You want to do

There’s not much to the lyrics, but I find them very helpful in centering my heart on inviting God to come and rule and reign in my life.

Do you have a favorite song or Scripture that helps you to center on God?

Auto-Pilot

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I was reading an article in Inc. Magazine about Kyle Vogt, who is on his way to providing the first self-driving technology system in America. Auto-pilot is no longer a thing of the future, it’s a part of the here and now.

As amazing and trendy as this invention is for the auto industry, when it comes to our journey of faith, choosing auto-pilot won’t get us any closer to our destination. Instead, disengaging from our relationship with God and being content with a decision we made at some point in our lives, actually brings our souls to a halt and prevents us from experiencing life the way God intended.

The Apostle Paul’s encouragement to the church of Colosse is as relevant to us today as it was to them many years ago. Consider what he wrote in chapter 2, verses 6 &7:

“And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” (‭Colossians‬ ‭2‬:‭6-7‬ NLT)

Choosing auto-pilot might seem at times like your only option, but you’ll be missing out on living a purposeful and fulfilling life. Build your life on Christ and buckle-up, because the adventure that awaits you will be more than you could ever hope or dream.

It’s easy for followers of Jesus to disengage and turn on auto-pilot. For me, one of the ways that I keep from engaging the auto-pilot setting is to ensure that I’m sharing faith and life with other followers of Jesus and giving them permission to ask the hard questions and challenge me to constantly make pursing Christ top priority.

How about you? What have you done in your life to prevent yourself from switching to your automated systems?

How do you Measure Greatness?

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“Great is the LORD! He is most worthy of praise! No one can measure his greatness.” (‭Psalms‬ ‭145‬:‭3‬ NLT)

When we mention to one another that so and so is great, we typically follow that statement with one specific reason for their greatness. It’s quantifiable greatness. There’s a limit to their greatness. It’s measurable.

Not so with God.

How exactly does one reduce God’s greatness to the point where it can be measured? We can’t. There’s no way for us to create an exhaustive list of the ways in which our God is great.

From the grand miracles to the unexplained surprises; from the depth of his love to the attention to the tiniest detail, God’s greatness is on display. Even since the creation of the world, all of God’s creation has proclaimed his greatness. No matter what’s been going on, there have always been those who continue to give voice to how great and wonderful our God really is.

Even when it seemed as though the entire world was against God, Noah and his family were found to be righteous and proclaim the greatness of God.

Despite being captured by the Babylonians Daniel and s few of his friends remained faithful to God and made sure that they continued to proclaim the greatness of God.

I would even venture to say that during the four hundred years prior to Jesus’ birth, when God was silent, there were those who couldn’t help but proclaim the greatness of God.

So, how will you join with the host of others in proclaiming the greatness of God? Perhaps you and your family could share stories around the dinner table tonight. Maybe you’ll respond to this post or simply update your FB status. No matter how your day unfolds, look for an opportunity to share with someone else about the greatness of God.

Excess

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“Excess is that thing that we could give away today, and it wouldn’t change a single aspect of our tomorrow.” – Jeff Shinabarger (More or Less)

If you think about excess the way Jeff Shinabarger describes above, I would tend to think that we all have quite a few items in our homes that we could put in that category. As I stand here at my desk I notice the following:

– 4 Bibles
– 2 Guitars
– A bunch of books
– Some knick knacks (and paddywacks)

That’s just what’s in view right now. Not to mention all of the stuff in the other rooms of the house.

I’m considering what I’m to do with this excess, especially as I realize that I can’t play both guitars at the same time, and all those Bibles are accessible online.

I’m a big fan of living simply because it forces me to make better choices when it comes to living out the values that my family and I have adopted. Taking inventory of what we own to determine what is truly excess is a giant step toward living simply.

Who’s with me? Who’s ready to take this step with me?