August 28, 2009

The Nines

I just registered for a FREE conference with some great speakers lined up...and I don't even have to leave the comfort of my computer...

The Nines on Vimeo.

You Could Be Doing More

On the heels of yesterday's Ten Thousand post, I want to encourage you to read the article, On Mission, Changing the World, and Not Being Able to Do It All. Really go there and read it.

Here is a teaser quote:

I’m not for a minute advocating a cheap grace or an easy-believeism. But the yoke still is easy, right? And the burden still is light, is it not? The danger–and it’s a danger I’ve fallen foul of in my own preaching–is that in all our efforts to be prophetic, radical, and missional, we end up getting the story of Pilgrim’s Progress exactly backwards. “Come to the cross, Pilgrim, see the sacrifice for your sins. Isn’t that wonderful? Now bend over and let me load this burden on your back. There’s a lot of work we have to do, me and you.” A cross, yes. Jesus said we would have to carry one of those. But a cross that kills our sins, smashes our idols, and teaches us the folly of self-reliance. Not a burden to do the impossible. Not a burden to always do more for Jesus. Not a burden of bad news that never lets up and obedience that is always out reach.
I don't think yesterday's post and this one contradict each other...I think they remind us to be focused.

What do you think?

August 27, 2009

Ten Thousand

10,000 hours...That is how long research indicates you have to do something to become good at it. Daniel Levitin says,
"In study after study, of composers, basketball players, fiction writers, ice-skaters, concert pianists, chess players, master criminals, this number comes up again and again. Ten thousand hours is equivalent to roughly three hours a day, or 20 hours a week, of practice over 10 years… No one has yet found a case in which true world-class expertise was accomplished in less time. It seems that it takes the brain this long to assimilate all that it needs to know to achieve true mastery."
This "statistic" has been rattling around inside my head for a few weeks. I have been asking, "What would I be willing to devote 10,000 hours toward in order to master it?"

But I have also been thinking...

What would my understanding of the Bible be like if I put 10,000 hours into it?

What would my prayer life look like if I were to put 10,000 hours into it?

What would my relationship with God look like if I put 10,000 hours into it?

At 1 hour per day it takes almost 28 years to reach 10,000 hours...

What do you think?

Here are a couple of articles that got me and here. They aren't religious in nature, but they brought up the 10,000 hours idea.

August 14, 2009

Borrowed Authority Part 3

1 John 5:14-15 says, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.” We pray on the merit of all Jesus has done, but we must also pray according to the will of God.
God answers prayers according to his will and purpose for us, for His Church, and for the world. John 14:13 limits the promise by saying, “So that the Son may bring glory to the Father.” The purpose of God’s answered prayer is to bring glory to Himself, to extend the reach and rule of His kingdom on earth.
As you and I pray, if our prayers are selfish and self-serving they will not be answered. If we pray, believing God should answer our prayer because we have served him x number of years or because we have done this or that for Him, we will receive no answer. If we pray thinking that God should answer without us we are mistaken as well.

August 13, 2009

Borrowed Authority Part 2

John 14:13-14 holds one of Jesus’ promises to us, “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”
When we pray, we are instructed to pray in Jesus’ name. That changes the entire make-up of our prayers. Praying “in Jesus’ name” means we are praying in His authority, on the basis of His character, and in the value of all He has done.
When I was a kid, I loved the old police shows: Starsky and Hutch and CHiPs. I would go around imitating them all the time. I think every young boy dreams of being a police officer at one time during their life. The popular phrase they always used was, “stop in the name of the law.” After hunting down the criminal, Starsky and Hutch would bang on the door of the house, and say, “Open up in the name of the law.” If they did not open the doors, they would kick it down, and arrest the criminal inside. Of themselves they were simply men and women with a badge. They had no authority of their own. Their authority depended on the law.
When we pray our authority rests, not in what we have done, but on who Jesus is and what He has done; on His union with God the Father.

August 12, 2009

Borrowed Authority Part 1

I am nobody. I have no political clout to throw around. I have no names to drop, no wealthy friends to depend on, and I have made no significant contribution to humanity. I am nobody.

When it comes to prayer I am in the same boat. Nothing I have ever done merits my being heard by God. Granted, I have done some good things—fed people in homeless shelters, secretly given money to people who needed it, and spent countless hours in community service. None of that means God is going to listen and answer my prayer any more than anyone else. Not even being a minister wins me any privilege in my prayers to God.

I need something else. I have no authority or right to ask anything of God. I cannot, on my own account, ask God to do anything. But there is someone who can: Jesus.

August 3, 2009

Twitter and Facebook are Evil

I just read this post by Tim Stevens, and found it very interesting.

I agree on many points. I am posting this on a blog that will feed to Twitter and then to my Facebook page. I don't believe the world is going to hell because of Twitter and Facebook. I don't believe they are a replacement for real interaction and relationship. In fact, I believe they can enhance them

But...we have to be careful because they can.

Where he lost me was when he made this comment:
It’s like watching someone early last century arguing against people who used cars to travel from place to place. “People who drive are trying to avoid the face-to-face interac¬tion you get from walking down the sidewalk and stopping to chat with the neighbors sitting on their front porch. Do you want to get places faster at the expense of spending time with people?”
If you heard that, you might pull the speaker aside and tell him, “Embrace reality. Don’t be so afraid of change.”
The reality is that sociologically the isolationism of much of American life can be directly traced to the widespread use of the vehicle.