Monday, December 10, 2012

Battling the Empire (Prayer)

            It’s been a while since I have written.  In some part it has been because I have had a few technical difficulties, it appears I am further behind the times than I realized.  The other part is because I have been on quite a journey recently.  I have learned so much that I am sure that I couldn’t fit it all into one session here, but I am sure you will see the bits and pieces here and there throughout the next several entries. 

One such lesson has stemmed from the idea that I have made my relationship with God very empirical.  To try to explain this, it is the idea of a kingdom.  Many of our relationships with God would be similar to having a conversation with someone in a medieval time and asking the random peasant if they had ever met the King.  The answer would something along the lines of knowing they had a king but had certainly never met Him.  After all, why would He come down amongst the peasants?  


Our King did come here. 

…but in my interaction with Him, do I act like it?

I have recently uncovered a more “Abba/Father” vein in my journey. 

This doesn’t make Him any less a King, but it actually makes me more His son. 

I classified myself as a peasant in the grandeur of all that is God (this Father view has also opened my eyes in that department).  It is easy to do.  We can look at Isaiah and see how we may react in His presence.  We may “melt” in His glorious presence. However, we are also invited into His presence now through His Spirit.  We are invited into this relationship that He has built to connect Creator with the creation. 

That is not the distant king philosophy, but I get stuck there sometimes. 

I don’t want to forget or lead astray that God’s holiness is in any way lessened by our ability to come close to Him.  However, I do want anyone who may struggle with this to avoid attempting to draw closer to God, or be hindered in any way, because we feel unworthy. 


Or don’t we believe that?

When Christ taught us to pray, how did He start out?

“Our Father…”

I don’t think I really viewed Him as this loving Father, but it certainly changes my perspective.  I mean, I talk about it a lot, but do I apply it?  Do I really believe it?  Do I act upon that as I pray to Him?  Are my prayers more like a report to the king?  Or a conversation with Dad? 

When I interact with my daughter, sometimes she is sitting there and talking to me (kind of at me since she is almost 3), I stop her and say, “Come here.” And I just wrap my arms around her and say, “I just need a hug, I just want you to be close.” 

I think I missed this…and still catch myself talking at Him.

My God is the King, and He is my Father.  I am His son, made so by Christ.  So when I talk to Him, there are certainly times I address Him as the King, there are also times I just need my Father to hold me. 

If nothing else, I hope this would challenge you to think and talk to God (whether you are an avid pray-er or not) in a deeply loving and natural way.  I know there are those that would disagree with me…but I have found a deep, wonderful, and lasting peace in my time with Him because I have realized that He is the King, but I am no peasant, I am His child.

"I think we would more clearly see His Kingdom from a place closer to His vantage point as His children than from the vantage point of a peasant."

Thursday, September 13, 2012


Have you ever been walking along and through some unfortunate turn of events you find yourself flat on the ground.  Maybe you slipped on some ice.  Maybe you tripped.  Whatever happened…

…there you are…

…laying flat…

This doesn’t happen often; at least I hope it doesn’t.  When it does, often our mind scrambles for answer, “How did this happen?”  Even if we know, we ask.

Sometimes it is less sudden.  Sometimes it is sickness and we lie there, in bed, longing for a time when we felt better.

Sometimes we can get up…sometimes we it takes time…sometimes we can’t get up without help…and sometimes…we can’t get up at all.

                I think in the spiritual sense, I have been sideways recently.  I can’t really figure out what happened, or how, but I feel like I have found myself on my back and wondering what happened.  Much like a person who has suddenly fallen and lies there grasping for an answer, I felt that spiritually.  Wind knocked out of me, I just kind of lay there taking in this new perspective of what I am seeing and wondering how did this change.  Instead of a path in front of me, I see the sun breaking through the trees.  For a moment, it feels almost paralyzing.

I know I should get up, but think I just kept laying there for a bit trying to get my bearings.

                Since I am the type of person that likes to figure things out on my own, try as I might, I have found that I can’t get up on my own every time.  I need some help.  I need to get on my feet.  I have my part to play, but that doesn’t mean I can do it alone every time.

I don’t like that…

…at all.

                I had a little help this week with some perspective straightening enlightenment from some well spoken gentlemen.  I kind of feel like they sat me up, and maybe even stood me back on my feet.  However, as my line of sight has changed back from the sky breaking through the trees to the path in front of me.  I have realized that I need help.  I can’t do this on my own. 

Even relying on myself alone to walk with God is something I know I need help with…I can’t do it alone.

For me to be the man I know I am to become I must desperately depend on God.

                For me to be the man I know I am to become I must have others who believe in God’s plan for my life to pray with me for clarity and discernment as I walk this path.  When I fall, they help me up, in fact they pray with me for clarity so that I may not fall in the first place. 


I don’t like being sideways.  Sprawled out on my back and wondering what happened?  What went wrong?  I don’t want to be there, and mostly, I don’t want to stay there.

                How are you?  Are you sideways?  Maybe something knocked you down, or you slipped.  How long have you been there?  Figuratively speaking, reach your hand out for some help.  Ask for prayer believing that things can and will change.  Don’t stay sideways.  It isn’t how we were designed to be.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Grow #1: "Why is God Important to You?"

We are going through a series at FUSED called "Grow."  This is the first attempt at a follow-up vlog to go along with our lesson. 

Focal Point:  For God to be important to us, we must experience Him in a truly loving, truly gracious, truly saving way!

Scripture:  John 3:16-21, Psalm 103:10-12, John 4:1-42

Challenge;  How have you felt His love today (or recently)?  How have you experienced His grace today (or recently)?  How have you felt His "saving" (a daily God-is changing and growing me) today?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Undesired Handprints

Have you ever watch concrete set up?

I mean, not sat there the ENTIRE time it was drying…

…but I think you know what I mean.

There is often caution tape draped around it, a few boards making sure it stays in place, and everything is set up in just the right way so the concrete is allowed to set up and become the solid substance it is supposed to become.  

Then some kid comes by and puts a hand print in it.


Because they know it will set up with the handprint in it, and they will be immortalized…kind of.
Is the concrete ruined?  Not necessarily, it may be able to carry out its function, but there is definitely a difference in what the plan was.

If our lives are a lot like concrete, and we aren’t quite firmed up yet, what is leaving its mark on our lives?

Some things are good, some are terrible, and some things bring fullness, while others suck the life right out of you.

Does the imprint define you?  Does it change who you are?

I have found that it seems far easier for many people to let the bad things change them and the good things have little to no lasting imprint on them.  We let the terrible things in life ruin us.

Is it even possible to find something good in the bad?

A lot of times, I tend to run off with how much better my life is as I experience God.  It is never my intention to come across that I never have any bad times.  What I hope to communicate is that even in the tough times, there are lessons to be learned.  In those lessons, I can learn to appreciate so much in my life and rely on a strength beyond my own and in that have a greater and deeper experience with God. 
Crazy, right?

Maybe, but I can tell you that I am who I am because of the impressions that have been made in my life (both good and bad).  He has taken those situations as a master potter and shaped and molded my life into something that I consider beautiful.  It may seem common to others, but to me, my life is precious because He has shown me that my life is precious to Him.  Through the tough times, through the hurt, He has shown me that the impressions that I don’t necessarily want don’t ruin me…they shape me… and He can work in that and will as I turn those situations over to him.  

I don’t know what it is that is pressing itself into your life now, I don’t know if it is wanted or not, but I do know you have a choice.

Let it rule you for the worst, or let it shape you for the better.

He wants what is best for you.  He has eternal perspective.  He knows what is best.  Let Him work through this time, whether it is good or bad.  Let’s step back and see what He can do in this.

You aren’t ruined.  There is still a lot of life to be lived, too much to let something rule you.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Dangers of Familiarity

Recently I have begun amping up my work around the house.  That’s right, handyman Adam stories are sure to follow.  There are no major improvements to be done, nothing collapsing or caving, just some paint here or there and some cleaning.  The funny thing is that it took someone else coming and giving my house a good “once over” for me to even notice some of the things that needed attention. 


Because, I am there every day and my home is very familiar to me.  The little things that happen over time don’t catch my attention.  I see them every day and I lose my attention to details.

My attention to details.

This is true of my house, but it made me think and then I crossed my mind again as I was reading today.  What other things am I looking past just because they are familiar to me?  What details am I missing because they are so familiar to me?

If I think of my family, I see them every day.  Sadly, as I began to think, there are certainly times of neglect.  Much like my house, there aren’t any situations that are collapsing or caving, but if I do not pay attention and care for the minor improvements it would certainly seem that a major improvement may be on the horizon. 

Who really wants there to be a need for a major improvement in our family?   Don’t we want to avoid major breakdowns if at all possible?  Certainly there are some that are out of our control, but many can be avoided by investing some time before things get out of hand. 

I could go on and on, but the point has been made.

I mentioned this idea crossed my mind as I was reading today.  I feel I have been reeling a bit lately, and it all seemed to culminate with an event this weekend that left me more than unimpressed with myself.  I decided to go back to some basics and read some material that I often turn to. 

Once again, the familiar things.

Familiarity isn’t bad as long as we do not lose focus, which is one of my glaring weaknesses.

One of the materials I was reading was the book of John.  In chapter two of John the well known story of Jesus turning water into wine is recorded.  I kind of blew through it…why?

Because I knew it.

Something struck me, and it seemed as though I should go back and try it again.  As I went back, I tried to envision the whole event. 

Water…to wine.

To me it is so familiar, so known, so …I don’t know…surreal?

I know it so well that it isn’t real anymore?

I don’t know if that is exactly what I want to communicate, but that story, that true story, has become so familiar that it has lost its miraculous wonderment on me.  I had to stop and rethink how miraculous that actually was.  For one thing, to see it happen, then to understand what happened molecularly in those huge jugs of water as they turned into wine. 

I began breaking it down in my mind as He raced with me down the pathway of enlightened understanding.  This simple miracle that has become some commonplace to me was, and still is, a phenomenal event that has often gotten lost on me. 

So, what has become a little too familiar to you?  Family, friends, and the truths that we hold so dear are often times the victims of familiarity and from familiarity, neglect.  Today, I encourage you to take some time to reassess and think about the people around you … and get unfamiliar with them, rediscover, explore, and truly reunite with them.