Monday, October 26, 2009

Bold Prayers

Prayer is such a valuable part of a relationship with God-a time of communication and interaction where our spirit speaks to His Spirit.  I don't pray as often as I would like and I don't always have the depth in my prayer life that I desire either.  I think that part of my up & down prayer life is a result of what I am praying for.

I pray for people a lot-for healing, for God to get their attention, for restoration, for forgiveness.  Scripture tells us to spend time praying for others in front of God, but is that what our prayers are limited to?  Are we so focused on the simple prayers that we forget to pray for things that are bold-things that certainly couldn't happen without God's incredible intervention?  Are we praying for big things to happen-for a seriously ridiculous, God-given vision that will blow our minds and reveal His true nature to everyone around us?

I feel challenged to ramp it up-to stretch my own prayer life to a point of boldness that can only be answered by God & His power. 

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sunday Reflections

Another great day ending here in Milledgeville & time for the new tradition of Sunday reflections:

  • Crisp morning driving in-got to love this Georgia fall weather
  • I love an early Sunday morning being the 1st one at the church-great time of prayer & coffee
  • We are so blessed with a great staff here-everyone pitching in and helping out-what a team!
  • Prayer with our elders each Sunday morning is a true blessing-the way that these men's hearts are broken for God is amazing
  • True internal conversion doesn't happen by accident-it has to be an intentional effort
  • It doesn't matter what you do on the outside if you aren't changed on the inside
  • If we want to make an impact in our community we have to be transformed from the inside out first
  • I'm excited about the future of youth ministry here-great parent meeting today-lots of potential!
  • Good end to a Sunday with a family dinner & tucking my girls into bed-never gets old!

Thursday, October 22, 2009


In reading through the New Testament Challenge here at Northridge, I read through Acts 16 this morning.  In this chapter Luke writes of Paul and his companions and the journeys they went on.  In two instances it is noted that Paul and company attempted to do something and were stopped by the Holy Spirit.  It doesn't go into great detail, but those phrases jumped out at me this morning.  It certainly speaks to following the vision of God's leading, but it also speaks to being spiritually connected to God enough to hear His voice.  Paul's ambition (and what he perceived as vision) led him to two places, but they were not where God wanted Him to be.  Paul and his friends were obedient enough to the Holy Spirit that they could see that they were being led somewhere else. 

Is that true of us? Many of us have a vision of where we should be going and how we should be doing things, but are we in tune with the Holy Spirit enough that we can hear when it is time to change direction?  Are we faithful enough to His call to be willing to walk away from a place or to not do something that we have planned because God has something better for us?

It's only when we realize that it's not about us, but about Him is this possible.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sunday Reflections

Another Sunday is coming to a close here in Milledgeville, Georgia-here are a few highlights:

  • Good time in the book of Proverbs this morning in my quiet time
  • Spent some time in the high school Bible study hanging out
  • Had an impromptu time of teaching in the middle school Bible study
  • We have youth that are hungry for God's truth!
  • Two powerful services this morning
  • The baptism of Eugene-can only say "Wow!" at how God has worked in his life in 90 days
  • Two families partnering with us at NCC today-one who started visiting three weeks ago
  • Good small group training-thank you God for all of our small group leaders!
  • Reconnecting with friends from Florida that we have missed a great deal
  • A chilly night closed with smores, hot chocolate & family time by the fire pit.
God is so much better to us than any of us deserve.  I can't wait to see what He has in store for us this week.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Cultural Christianity

In one of the books I am reading, Patrick Morley talks about God's leading saying, "He has important work for you and me, and He must squeeze the cultural Christianity out of us."

That's a tough phrase to take.  It is saying that perhaps we have a misguided view of what following Christ is supposed to look like.  Maybe what we have built Christianity up to be is off the mark.  What if our understanding of following Christ has been misdirected due to the influence of American culture instead of the other way around? 

Christianity in the New Testament certainly wasn't pretty-it cost those believers more than we can imagine in our comfortable world of today.  They were willing to follow God's leading & His Word regardless of the cultural and personal consequences.  The church in the book of Acts had a different feel than the majority of American churches today because of those risk-takers.

Looking like Christ is not so much of a focus on church attendance, the number of Bibles in your home, how many Christian t-shirts you have, or the Jesus sticker on your car.  I believe it is reflected in the individuals (and families) who are willing to say, "I will follow Christ no matter the cost."

When God can create that cultural shift in each of us, Satan better be on guard.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

What Are You Thinking?

As part of the New Testament Challenge here at Northridge, I was reading in Romans yesterday.  Romans is one of my favorite books-very challenging and not necessarily an easy read.  Paul's letter lays some pretty hardcore truths out there for us and certainly hits home in a lot of ways.

In Romans 8 Paul writes about the battle of the Spirit versus the flesh.  He says that if we focus on the things of the Spirit that we find life & if we are emphasizing the flesh that we find death.  I think the parallel is pretty clear in terms of where we place our faith-if your main emphasis is on seeking pleasure and not finding God's will and purpose it will most certainly lead to a less than pleasant end.

I honestly believe that it refers to our mindset as well.  If we were to truly analyze what it was that we were focusing on regularly & where we were putting our energies we would see definitive differences.  When our focus is on the leadings of the Spirit we find ourselves more at peace and able to cope with difficulties.  When our focus is on the leadings of our own desires & other parts of that earthly battle, we struggle in everything-relationships, patience, satisfaction, self-confidence, etc. God was telling us this not to condemn us, but to protect us.  He knows what is best.

So the big question is then-what are you thinking?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sunday Reflections

A few Sunday reflections from Milledgeville, GA:

  • We serve at an awesome church with loving people-no doubt about it!
  • We are all in need of God's forgiveness
  • It is amazing to see God's people broken for Him
  • It is even more amazing to see how He restores all of us through His grace
  • Eirene--the peace given by God that makes us whole
  • We are messengers of grace!
  • The worship set & team were off the chain today-powerful stuff!
  • I am excited about the future of youth ministry as a part of the church at Northridge
  • High school forum today was a great way to talk specifically to our high school youth-God is going to do great things through them!
  • Many people missed Mike & Kathy today-praying that they got the rest that they desperately need
  • Can't wait to see what God is going to do this week!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Best Intentions

I had intended to start blogging more regularly and then the week happened.  It has been a whirlwind of different things-none of them bad, but it has taken a lot of energy to get things accomplished.  I thought about it each day at some point, but just couldn't get around to sitting down and typing out a few thoughts.

I guess it is not that different from our spiritual lives.  I believe that a lot of us enter a week with good intentions of being in God's Word, spending time in prayer, and focusing on His plan for us.  Then our week happens and we look back and find ourselves disappointed in the actual amount of time spent. 

God desires time with us too.  I am sure that He wishes we would find ourselves investing in that time with Him more than we do.  I plan on taking steps along the way this week to help make sure that I am focused on Him each day.  We'll just have to see what happens with blogging.

Monday, October 5, 2009


The most feared word in the dictionary for a lot of people is "change." It is not always comfortable and it is definitely not always easy.  Sometimes we are the ones who seek change and then other times we find out that change has sought us. 

Our lives have certainly undergone a lot of change in the past six weeks and we continue to face more of it here in Milledgeville.  Things never go exactly as you planned (that is one of the many reasons that God is King and we are not) and you have to learn to react to change in a positive & godly way.  It's much easier to type that than to actually do it.

This is a challenging time right now in Milledgeville.  God is most certainly at work and Satan isn't taking a day off either.  There are many cultural differences between Georgia & Florida-none of them bad, but definite differences.  I appreciate the style of life here and recognize that some things are going to take more time than others to implement.  I love to get after things and work hard, but there is also a time of respect for the past and concern for other people's feelings and thought processes as change approaches them. 

I do know one thing. Our God does not change and even as we join the team to build up His ministry here, the need for Him only increases.  The people of Georgia are in just as much desperate need of Christ as those in Florida (and anywhere else for that matter.) 

I am firmly committed to boldy teaching His Word here and doing whatever it takes to see a revival take place that will bring souls & glory to the King.  And nothing Satan can do will change that.