Monday, November 7, 2011

Affirming Out of Overwhelm Prayerfully

As I breathe I step through and out of each piece of work, responsibility, project, desire, doubt, pain, sickness, resistance, and tension through a prayerful, centered, grounded, relaxed, energized and mindful attitude. Thoughts of procrastination, hesitation, unconfidence, and most importantly fear are distant memories as I hold hands with God and let him lead the way.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Words of Comfort

Originally I was going to write a big essay on the subject of bad feelings such as depression, doubt, guilt, etc. This isn't because I have been in a particularly bad or good place so if you know me in person - disclaimer - do not worry, I am simply writing about normal feelings that we all experience on occasion.

When it came down to it I realized that I didn't need to write a lot, I just had to revisit the word and retrieve some comforting words.

1.  Matthew 6:25 -  “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?

While we may not be able to consciously control our worries, it gives me comfort to know that Jesus has directly said not to worry, and not only not to worry about small things but not to worry about the things we require to survival. 

2. Matthew 6:34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Worrying about the future is an unnecessary sin. one of the most valuable things I have ever been told is that worrying is a sin. When I was originally told this I got upset to the point of anger, "I can't help but worrying so it's unfair that doing it is a sin!" Then I thought about it I realized worry is thoughts, images and emotions of a negative nature in which mental attempts are made to avoid anticipated potential threats. Worry is a distrust, a reliance on our own anticipation of an imagined threat then staying prayerful and trusting in God. How do I handle worrying? Trust in God, focus on the word and pray even though it is hard. 

3. These feelings always reminds me of what Paul said in Romans 7:14–25

14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. [a] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25
So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature [b] a slave to the law of sin. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Paul writes about the frustration with sin which I can equate directly to worry in my life. Thing I do that I do not want to do is worry, I want to trust in God and yet I drift back into trying to make sense of life myself. What I can do is dive into the word which let's the Lord talk to me and reassure me that he is always there whether I am trusting him or not, he reassures me that i am forgiven even if I drift back into sin. After being reassured I can be like Paul and proclaim "Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!"

In conclusion, depression, worry, pain, and any of life's rigors whether they are triggered by an event or happening for no reason at all can be crazy. Thank God for God! Through the word and prayer we can be reminded to accept his embrace, he loves us and is helping us even though we are trying to do it on our own.

My prayer: 

Dear Lord, in the inevitable time that I fall away from me, please help me to remember that you are there. When things are going insane in my life please help me to be still and wait upon the strength you will bring that will come. Thank you for everything you have done, are doing, and will do. Praise to you in Heaven! 

In your ever present Holy Name,


Sunday, September 25, 2011

A Wonderful Devotion on Love that my Mom Shared with Me

The following post is cited from Portals of Prayer October to December 2010 by Concordia Publishing House. It is a wonderful devotion on love.

Tuesday, October 19

Read John 3:16-21 and Psalm 145

God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son. John 3:16


It is easy to give gifts to people we love, and we usually love people who are lovable. But what about the obnoxious neighbor, the less-than-lovable co-worker, the spiteful relative - are we really supposed to love them just the same? It is not so easy to give to or to love the mean, the spiteful, the unlovable. But God did and does.
God gave His Son - out of love, not gratitude, not in return for anything  the world had done, but only out of His gracious love. The world (that includes you and me) had done nothing to earn that love. What could we ever offer God? He is Creator of all things; there is nothing He needs from us. In fact, all that we have came from Him. Without His aid, we cannot keep His perfect Law of love. On our own, we turn away from Him, reject Him, and scorn His love. Still, He loved and loves us. Still, He gifts us with grace and mercy.
This verse from John, the Gospel "in a nutshell," tells us the story of God's love, which sent salvation in the form of Jesus. The Creator of light has become our light in a world of darkness. The light penetrates our darkness and, by our God-given faith and love, we are able to love even the less-than-lovable.

All-loving God, we praise and thank You for sending Christ to be our light and hope. Help us, Lord, to live in Your love each day. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Lutheran Hour Ministries - Resources for You

Lutheran Hour Ministries - Resources for You

If You, O Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But with You there is forgiveness, that You may be feared. Psalm 130:3-4

It has been a while since I have read through my daily devotion on the Lutheran Hour site. I found it fitting that today's devotion was about God's forgiveness. But not just forgiveness but the fact that God isn't keeping tack of our sins at all. I have grown up with the human dea of forgiveness as seeing something that has wronged you and letting it go through through a process and finally forgetting the offense (and possibly remembering and having to go through the process of forgiving and forgetting again later).

God, as usual goes beyond our human concepts of forgiveness and can just let it all go through his infinite forgiveness. Since we know our own sins, and have to go through the process for ourselves, it is a great comfort that God doesn't list them. Since God is within us as the holy spirit we can do this to through him.

My Prayer: Dear Lord, please help me to remember that you aren't keeping a tally of my sins, please help me to let my own tally go and forgive myself for my sins, faults, and misteps. Thank you for the amazing gifts you continually bestow upon me, it amazes me more and more everyday and I look forward to each and every one of them.


Saturday, August 27, 2011

A daily affirmation - Serving out of Gratitude

I am calm and confident because I am a saved child of God. I serve out of gratitude for my Lord's gift of forgiveness for me and serve in the confidence that I have eternal life through him.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Being a Public Future Pastor

This post is about my current educational goals, my feelings about how people react to those goals, my analysis of these reactions, and how I plan to react.
My current educational goals are to complete my BA in theology in order to move on to seminary. I have made this choice based on the results of prayer and the fact that I feel most in touch with God when I am talking about his word. One of the challenges I have run into are the conflicted feelings I experience about being public about this choice. I have found that telling people what my goals are causes them to look upon me differently and this can be hard to deal with.
When I am at the college and exchanging ideas about educational choices, very often someone will ask me what my major is. When I tell them it is in theology they ask me what I plan to do with that major, when I tell them, things get interesting as I immediately notice them change their behavior, they might even avert eye contact. Sometimes they might get a little hostile as they feel this is an appropriate time to tell me exactly how they feel about the church. Emotionally it can be hard to deal with because I have always been sensitive about what others think.
I believe that reactions like this have to do with people's perspective of the clergy, people's own self judgement when they discover my goal involves the church which is thought of my many as a "noble" or "higher" goal, and a general surprise and uncertainty of what to say when their outlook of me changes.
I believe that my reaction to these people should be with understanding and patience and to be considered prayerfully. The road to becoming a pastor is a long hard one and being a pastor is not going to be easy. Approaching these kinds of tests critically, prayerfully, and with love and compassion will give me opportunities to witness, and help me to grow stronger in my path.
In conclusion, I am proud of my chosen path. I feel confident that I am choosing the path God wants me to get on. He has made it clear to me that even though the end of the path is still unknown, the path is the most important thing for me to be on. I look forward to learning how to understand other people's opinions and reactions with compassion.

My Prayer:
Father God,
Thank you for the gifts you have given me in life. thank you for the ability to analyse situations like this and approach them with understanding. Please continue to guide me in spirit and help me to be strong on this long road ahead.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Grief and Change

I posted about my friend Matt's suicide a while back. I was reading my good friend Tara's post about continuing through grief and it made me realize that since Matt died I have been trying hard to continue with the motions thinking that will make things better. Acting as if nothing happened doesn't work. I wrote about how wonderful Matt was but I never wrote about what happened.

After Matt's death in October I was absolutely devastated, it hit me hard but I bottled it up quick because so much was going on. I started to post the same old stuff I always posted but the real truth was I didn't want to post about all my insecurities and problems because I didn't want to admit weakness because to me I was mad at Matt for being weak and taking the cowards way out; that thought only brought me shame because I love Matt and miss him and don't want to have any bad thoughts about him.

Right now all of my bad feelings  need to be expressed and I don't mean a bunch of ranting on my blog about how mad at Matt I am but an honest confession about how I feel.  A lot happened all at once: Matt's suicide, I lost my job, and I made a commitment to becoming a pastor. Every single one of these things is terrifying. I love Matt for who he was and a lot of that had to do with what we had in common. Matt's suicide brings out fears that I will give in the same as him and cause so much pain to those around me. It also brings out a lot of emotions, losing my job left me without a predicable security in my life, and my commitment to becoming a pastor started a new path and with it all the doubt and insecurity associated with a new path.

Thanks Tara for helping me to be honest with myself, I hadn't realized that I have been wrestling with grief since October and I will be a whole let better off expressing it.

My Prayer:
Father God,

Thank you Lord for putting the desire to follow your will in my life and thank you for giving me the gift of a known path. Please Lord continue to help me to have the strength to follow your will.


Saturday, August 6, 2011

Reflection through old blog posts

I was reading my posts since 2008 and I came to some conclusions.

1. I used to have a lot more fun on this blog
2. I frequently lose purpose while writing (which is ok because I can always read this)
3. I love to pray
4. I log about tons of stuff: photography, prayer, purpose, resistance, GTD, frustration, depression, anxiety, annoyance, devotions, gratitude, meaning, and more.

My goal here is to continue to write but I have myself backsliding at times (when standing at the front lines in the war against resistance, resistance tends to fight back HARD.

Goals for the rest of the year:
1. Write and blog and for myself first and my audience second (I  started the blog for myself which made it special and in order to keep it that way I have to continue to write it for myself).
2. Remember that the fact that it is hard to write because of resistance proves that it is important
3. Start mobile blogging again

My Prayer:

Dear Lord,

Thank you for the gift of being able to write and the technology to put this out there. Please help me to maintain this blog and continue writing.


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Reminder to be Open with my Christianity

“I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.”- Romans 1:16

I have posted this verse before and it still applies. At times I feel like it is hard to admit that I am a Christian, like it is easier to to sit back on the sidelines and not take a side. It feels good to read Paul's words affirming that these kinds of feelings existed for early Christians as well. I read his words and am reminded that God's power works in my life and that God saves us through our belief. 

My prayer:

Dear Lord in Heaven,

I praise your name and thank you for everything I have. Thank you Lord for your creation and thank you for dying for my sins. I am a sinner; I have been guilty of denying you, and hiding my Christianity. Dear Lord, please fill me with your Spirit and help me to openly proclaim my faith. Please help me to witness and share my faith with those I meet and never hide the gifts I have received. Please give me the strength I can't get without you and allow me to shout from the rooftops that I believe.

In your holy name,

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Went to a funeral today for an old friend which gave me some time to reflect. The sermon was about salvation, trusting in the Lord, and God's promises.

My prayer:

Father God,

In times of sadness thank you for the Joy of salvation that you give us. Thank you for your Spirit that makes this life worth living and the promise of eternal life with you.


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Overwhelm After the Epic Trip, GTD, & Where God Fits In

For those of you that don't know; I just returned from a fantastic trip across 2 weeks, 8 states, 4 national parks, countless cities, and much more. We clocked 4,125.2 awesome miles and we are home!

I had an amazing time as my Mom and I traveled by car; camping, and moteling (thank God for the new. Amazing, and reimagined Motel 6) to the Hoover Dam, beautiful St. George Utah, Bryce National Park, Salt Lake City Utah, Pocatello Idaho, Jackson Hole Wyoming, the Grand Tetons National Park, Yellow Stone (amazing, amazing Yellowstone), West Yellowstone Montana, Pendleton Oregon, Portland Oregon (to visit my wonderful friend Heather), Coos Bay Oregon, Redwood National and State Parks, Eureka and Arcata California (the home of Humboldt Fog cheese! (I ate 6oz)), the beautiful Redwoods in Boulder Creek California (the home of my wonderful cousin Theresa and her husband Rich), and the fabulous journey home, down the coast through Big Sur, Pismo Beach, and Solvang (which was beautiful and interesting yet completely closed at that time of night).

And now I am home.

Where my life hits me like a freight train of bills (kept up with most on the trip but still need to do a lot of reconciling and planning for future stuff), responsibilities , roles (photographer, writer, student, future pastor, gamer, son, friend, etc), correspondence (with friends new and old), books to read (fun , gaming, and educational), shows to watch (evil, evil DVR), movies to see (Cowboys and Aliens, and Captain America (saw Harry Potter and Friends with Benefits on trip), friends to catch up with, hobbies ( gaming, photography, reading, personal studies, etc), hiking (like I didn't get enough on my trip but I could never get enough), exercise (2 mud runs to train for), blogs to keep up with (like this one and my Weight Watchers Blog), Online Communities (Facebook and the groups on there, GTDVSG (yes I am coming back), school (it only starts in two weeks), events and trips coming up (yes, I am planning on doing more stuff), household chores (the joy of moving back home), keeping up with people met on the trip and sending all the photos I took of people back to them (I collect photos of people taking photos, another hobby), and a slew of projects and ideas I am working on and/or plan on working on.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

If you became overwhelmed by reading the above paragraph, you can imagine what it is like for me, but fortunately I am not overwhelmed, overloaded or panicking because I have the tool of GTD. To save the time of explaining what that is to people who don't know, read about GTD here.

To sum it up simply, the joy of GTD is that it lets me collect all of my open loops into one place to get them off my mind; I spend some time gathering them into a bin, then spend more time processing through that bin to do, defer, or delete each thing one at a time. I keep my processed outcomes in a system (I use rmilk) that I trust that will be there to let me do everything at the best time for me to do it.

Is my life perfect because of GTD? No, not at all, it is just a tool I use to relieve the burden of overwhelm. I do let things build up and overwhelm me at times because I can't be perfectly in control all the time, I need flexibility to breathe within my system. A friend of mine asked me about it while I was on vacation and when I explained it she said, "It is like an obsession then?" A lot of people have brought this up to people who practice GTD and the answer is ultimately no. It may appear as an obsession to some but it is not that, but then what is it?

It is a discipline and it is a practice. GTD is a collection of methods aimed at helping people remove the junk from their heads to eliminate the stress of productivity and accentuate the product of that activity. David Allen (the creator of GTD, if you skipped the link I posted earlier) coined the phrase that it lets us win at the game of work and the business of life.

If you read my blog you may be wondering where prayer comes into the equation in all this. For me, nothing starts without God and GTD isn't any different. While overwhelm is starting to build, I am getting ready to collect open loops, I am processing through my inbox, I am planning projects, or I am doing the things on my various lists, God's embrace is right around me and I wouldn't be able to do complete my next actions without him.

My prayer this morning when the overwhelm became evident:

Father God, I really want to sink my teeth into this mess of stuff but I don't know where to start. I am completely helpless, unmotivated, overloaded, overwhelmed, and everything seems huge and unmovable. What do I do?

His answer for me was the immediate realization that I had to empty my brain onto paper and start collecting open loops and then to write and post this article. This post is part of my process. God brought the practice of GTD to me, I don't doubt it and when I need it he reminds me that I have the tools to be the captain and commander of my life

My prayer now:

Dear Lord,

I am a pitiful sinner and am completely unworthy of all the gifts you have given me. Due to the power of your love and your death on the cross I am worthy and able to be your child. Father, I pray to you to thank you for your love, for your creation, and for the ability to have a relationship with you. Thank you for my life, good and bad. As I collect my open loops, process through my lists, plan my projects, and complete next actions; please fill me with your holy spirit and give me the guidance to follow your will and the strength and courage to follow through with it. I love you Lord and I thank you again from the bottom of my heart.


Monday, August 1, 2011

What I am Grateful For

After a fantastic vacation through the western states of this amazing country and 4 National Parks I am reminded of my love for God and the ability to be in prayer with him.

My Prayer:

Father God,

Please help me not to forget that I have you in life and am able to pray without ceasing, please help to remind me to embrace gratitude and use it as my motivation to do your will. I love you Lord and am eternally grateful, thank you for your gifts, your beauty, and your word.

In your name,


Monday, April 11, 2011

Prayer to Open my Heart

Dear Lord,

Please pray for me, please fill my heart with your holy spirit and let your words come out.

Father God, I am a sinner and unclean and I pray to thank you for your forgiveness through your sacrifice. I pray for continual understanding of my path and what your gift of grace means. I pray to understand your word deeper and to be filled with a heart of gratitude and love. Please continue to tear down my resolve, to tear down my will and to build myself up in you. Please help me to be strong and to accept how this feels both good and bad. Please help me to accept your will in my life with Joy and when I don't accept it please help me to want to want to accept it.

Father God, please help me to think your thoughts, to see what you will me to see. Please help me to see others with a heart of love, to see them through your eyes. Please help me to be willing to be willing, to want to want your will in my life.

In your ever present Holy Name,


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Christ Died for the Worst

Romans 5:6-8

“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
I am grateful for Jesus gift . The idea of being saved is hard to grasp but I can definitely grasp the idea of feeling unworthy. As the worst of the worst sinners in my head it can be tough to accept God's forgiveness but in these verses I can see that Christ didn't die for the best, he died for me.
Dear Lord,

Thank you for this message this morning and thank you for telling me I am worthy. 


Friday, March 4, 2011

Prayer to put Others First.

James 1:19 (New International Version, ©2011)
Listening and Doing
 19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 

I read this verse over and over again and it never stops speaking to me.

be quick to listen

slow to speak
slow to become angry

Normally in conversation I think to listen last, I have my own personal agenda and I am just thinking about my response. I am not slow to speak, I want to be heard, want my words to be the center of the conversation. I am not slow to become angry, I latch onto every slight and dwell on the negative. This verse is my mantra to end all that.

My Prayer:

Dear Lord please rest your hand upon my heart and soften it, humble it and help me to put other people first in conversation. Help me to let go of my agenda and to focus on the person I am with at all times. Please fill my heart with your love and help me to let go of the negative and forgive people even before the offend. Please fill my heart with loving understanding and help me to let go of the world's anger based on your love.


The Wall to What I Want - quick thought of the day

If resistance is the wall in front of what I truly want, need, desire, then should I be looking for walls? Should I seek out the things I resist?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

My Bible Study Tools

Resistance to studying the Bible is an integral part of my study. When I feel resistance I push at it from all angles including developing a plan, pushing through it with brute force, asking for help in prayer, and looking for Bible study tools to help me take in his Word at least once a day if not continually.

Tools I Use:
  1. Google Reader - I review Google Reader daily for several blogs and news feeds. I have two folders for my feeds - Must Read and Nice to Read. Must Read I read through every day, they tend to be short and sweet and connected to my primary goals. Here are the two must reads connected to my Bible study -
    1. Bible Gateway Verse of the Day - The Bible Gateway verse of the day was the first tool I picked up for ensuring I get a daily dose of the word. The idea was getting a bare minimum of the Word every day and one verse is definitely the absolute bare minimum. Very often I go beyond the one verse by expanding it to the chapter and reading the whole chapter and possibly the commentaries for that chapter if there are any.
    2. Max Lucado Text Devotional - Max Lucado's daily text devotional is a free gift for the soul. It takes the concept of one verse a day and expands upon it with a short devotional. A great way to use this tool is to recite the verse, recite the devotional, and then include a short meditation and prayer on the concept. This is a great way to inspire continued Bible study, devotion, and meditation through the Word.
  2. The Bible and Pocket Guide on my Night-Stand - I keep a copy of the Lutheran Study Bible on my night stand next to the Compact Where to Find it in the Bible Ultimate A to Z Resource so if I am ever filled with regret or am suffering from lack of discipline I can look up the word in the pocket guide and review the associated verses.
    The Lutheran Study Bible is amazing as far as the amount of commentary it contains; it includes study resources plus Martin Luther's Bible commentary. It is a tool designed from a Lutheran perspective but is an amazing Bible that would have universal appeal to any Christian.
    The Where to Find it in the Bible resource is a simple index with common words and lists of verses for each word. My plan is to have a copy of the Bible and this resource in every place I frequent, I want one on my desk, in my car, in the restroom, in the kitchen, and any place I frequently do anything thinking. If I have the resource nearby I am more likely to apply Bible study to my life.
  3. The Bible Gateway Commentaries page - A great tool for digging a bit deeper into the Bible is commentaries. The Bible Gateway commentaries page has a comprehensive list of the available commentaries on
  4. Continued prayer, letting God do the work - One of the hardest things for me to remember in my path is that I am flawed and will never be able to do what the Lord wants on my own. Through prayer I can let God take over. He works through me, guides me through the verses and teaches me his words. The Lord uses the word to speak to us and without him, the Word is just words.
My Prayer:
Father God please continually help me to persevere in your path. Help me to let go and humble myself, to remember the I can't do it on my ownand anything that I do right is by your will, and any strength I get is through you. Father God, I thank you for the gift of your Spirit inspired Word. Thank you for bringing your will into my life through your Spirit inside me. I thank you for the faith you have given me and the strength to continue to grow. I thank you my Holy and Majestic Father and I Pray these things in Jesus's name. Thank you for your precious and wonderful gifts.


    Sunday, February 27, 2011

    What Motivates you to Achieve your Goals.

    Motivation is one of those fleeting things that is awesome when you have it and can feel like chasing wind when you don't. For me, motivation can be reclaimed but it does require some effort and self discipline. Here are a few things that help:
    • Clearly define in writing what the outcome I am trying to attain is, write about how it will feel as if I had already succeeded.
    • If I tell others about my goal make sure I realize that this can create a placebo affect and demotivate me (to understand this watch this TED talk -
    • Get engaged with the goal - do one thing that will bring me one step closer to the goal - a really cool way to motivate me to exercise is to take the next minimum step. For example - if I just can't will myself out the door to the gym, I go for a 15 minute walk. If I can't will 15 I go 5. Just getting engaged with fitness helps.
    • I change my environment - go hiking instead of gym, eat healthy food somewhere else, make a grocery list of healthy items
    • Remember my past successes
    • I reach out to the community - ask for help on my page, post to forums, go to my meeting.
    Motivation is attainable, it isn't a mystical force we have to stumble upon. We can choose to be motivated and when it comes down to it, don't wait for motivation. Do something to move towards your goal before you are motivated. You can do it.

    Friday, February 25, 2011

    Purpose of this Blog - Resistance

    I have been thinking a lot lately about what this site is about and its overall purpose. Over the couple of years I have been writing it I have touched on productivity, prayer, Christian Life, GTD, random recipes, adventure, writing and many more. My posts generally result in prayer and tend to read like devotions but this isn't really the desired function of the site just how I think and what I generally need when I post. So what is the center to the chaos that is 12hourhalfday? Resistance

    I get the term Resistance from Stephen Pressfield's book, the War of Art. Pressfield defines resistance as “an energy field radiating from a work-in-potential. It’s a repelling force. It’s negative. Its aim is to shove us away, distract us, prevent us from doing our work.”. I think of resistance as the Devil, the evil in this world that attempts to cut us off from God. Resistance can take on the forms of procrastination, laziness, writers block, depression, anxiety, and many more. It can be the little feeling that makes you turn left when you knew you should have turned right.

    The articles on this blog revolve around the resistance in my life, the tools I use to fight it, and the things I flaunt in resistances face. Tools include prayer, devotions, meditation, the Word, exercise, yoga, nutrition, writing, journaling, and many more.

    So while this site may come across as chaotic at times, at least now you know what I am fighting against.

    My Prayer:

    Lord, please help me to stay on purpose and to remember that whenever I am losing to resistance that I always have you to fill my heart and inspire, encourage, and guide me.


    Wednesday, February 23, 2011

    A Key to Knowing and Trusting God

    James 3:13: "“[Two Kinds of Wisdom] Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.”"

    I love the book of James; the letter reads like a collection of God inspired good advice. Be humble, listen more than you talk, listen before you become angry, remove immorality, follow the word, and more. James speaks from a humble heart knowing the word and knowing Jesus. Where does this come from? The Word! Becoming closer to God comes as easy as knowing the Word and knowing the Word comes as simple as reading the Bible.

    Does this mean knowing God requires long, tedious study, bent over a book by candle light, giving up life to study the Bible all the time? No, even though that is a worthwhile sacrifice for some; but it does mean Study. Study is the key to aligning ourselves with the mind of God; this is how we learn to know him, to trust him, and to learn to live in a way that pleases him.

    How do we do it? Read the Bible, read devotions, read something every day. Here are some resources to get started:
    • - The Daily bible verse is great. It gives you a small dose every day and even has an RSS feed.
    • - E-mailed devotional every two weeks
    • - Full sermon podcasts and a really awesome daily devotional tied to current events. RSS feed for the devotional isn't listed but you can get to it here.
    Whether it is a verse a day, a daily devotional, or a podcast in the car - Study is a key to knowing God.
    My Prayer:
    Dear Lord,
    Please reach into people's hearts and help them to know you. Help them to know that they can have a relationship with you and make it easy to do so.
    In your ever present holy name,

    Monday, February 21, 2011

    Prayer to Fill my Heart with Prayer

    Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

    Dear Lord,
    I am sinful and faulted and do not always praise you, I do not always pray, give thanks in all circumstances, I more often then not, act in a way that is not pleasing to you. I praise you Lord and thank you for my life, I thank you for humbling yourself and dying on the cross so that I may be free from sin and live with you forever. I thank you for my time in this world and thank you for the gifts you have given me and the gifts you will give me.
    Dear Lord, I pray to you to help me, help me follow your will not mine, help me to live in prayer because I know I cannot do it without you Lord. I love you Lord and thank you once again for what I have and what I will have.

    In Jesus's holy name I pray.


    Saturday, February 19, 2011

    Eating my Own Dog Food

    I talk a lot on this blog about love, compassion, selflessness and caring but my own sinful nature wins out more often then when I give over to God's will and even when clearly being told the Lord's will I often say no. I feel like Paul:

    15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.
    Romans 7:15

    My prayer:
    Lord, Please fill my heart with you to the point where I am not even there anymore. Thank you for the realization that I am sinful and incapable of good, smash me down and rebuild me as you want me. 

    This I pray in your name,


    Wednesday, February 16, 2011

    About Love - God Does the Hard Work for Us

    “[More on Love and Hatred] For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another.”
    1 John 3:11

     7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
    1 John 4:7-12

    44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you
    Matthew 5:44

    The Bible is amazing! We are not only given instructions, we are aided each step of the way to complete them. When I first read in the Bible that we should love our neighbors (even our enemies) I felt like I was being asked too much. Since my mind was always focused on earning my way to salvation the concept of loving everyone especially people I don't like and people that have wronged me seemed impossible.
    Through sin the human race was barred from contact with God. We couldn't be close to him any more but through God's gift to us, we are open to God and able to know him.
    John explains in his first book that God is love. Since we can know God we can know love. The exciting thing about this is God commands us to love but he also set things up so we can know love through him; HE IS DOING THE WORK FOR US!
    I love the Bible; every time I read it I get more excited about God's gifts of grace and what that means for me.

    My Prayer: 
    Dear Lord, Please help me to let go and let you take over. Thank you for doing the hard work for me. Amen

    Monday, February 14, 2011

    About Love - Listening and Understanding

    James 1:19
     19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry
    Understanding, listening , and seeing things from another person's perspective are hard things for me. I find myself often in conversation with someone, and find that instead of listening I am just waiting for my chance to speak, to be heard, and am not really trying to see the other person's point of view. This really bothers me as I want to be an example of understanding, I want to be a good listener, in fact I want to be there, I don't want to be the selfish guy who just wants to talk. What can I do?

    1. Affirmation: The Person I am Talking to is the Most Important Person in the World at That Moment
    The first thing I do is constantly remind myself of the affirmation, "This person is the most important person in the world" and in that conversation I am going to treat them that way. I am not only going to listen, I am going to pay attention to what they have to say verbally and non verbally and I am going to be sincerely interested because if I am not sincerely interested, I will retreat to my own thoughts and not listen to what they have to say. I learned this technique from my Mom, she taught me a prayer before talking "Dear Lord, please remind me that this person I am talking to is a child of God and my brother or sister in Christ"

    2. If it is over the phone - take notes. For real, this is awesome because of the conversation get's off topic you can ask questions about things talked about earlier in the conversation. If I am talking to someone and they reference things earlier in the conversation, I know they care.

    3. Get Things off your mind - Taking personal time to meditate, journal, and reflect can help put you in a centered place which will help have a more present frame of mind for a conversation.

    4. Be a lifelong learner - There are lots of resources available to help you learn to be an active listener, look into them and always be open to new techniques. This, in itself is an act of love for those around you because learning how to be there, learning how to understand shows that you love others.

    5. Ask about feelings. Understanding requires paying attention to more than just the content of a subject, it also requires analysis of the emotional product of the subject. How did an event feel? Learning about the feelings involved shows the speaker that you care about them, not only about the information.

    I am not the best listener, in fact I can be an example of the worst but I want to be better and these are just a few tips that I have learned; please share your tips for listening, understanding, and being a more loving person.

    My Prayer: 
    Father God in Heaven, 
    Your commandment to us is to love one another and I thank you for that, I thank you that we are commanded to do something that brings me so much joy and brings joy to others. Please continue to talk through me and help me to show the kind of love you desire. In your ever present Holy name.


    Saturday, February 12, 2011

    Who am I in Christ?

    The question of identity lead me back to the Bible.

    With a quick web search I found:
    Romans 8:14,15
    because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father."
    Galatians 3:26
    You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus
    John 1:12
    Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God

    To revisit the question, "Who am I?" I can truthfully answer that I am a Child of God because I believe it in faith and it is stated in the Word but, what does it mean to be a Child of God? It means we are heirs to his kingdom! Through Jesus's sacrifice we are able to inherit eternity!

    Romans 8:16-17

    16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

    My Prayer:

    Father God, I can never comprehend the full sacrifice you made through sending your Son to die for me, but I can read your Word and see the message that I am your child through that sacrifice and feel your Spirit well up in me. Thank you for eternity Lord! 


    Friday, February 11, 2011

    Who am I Without Using Labels- a recent paper for communications

    My Comm103 class required us to write a paper on who we are without using labels. This was a tough assignment and thought it would be a good thing to share here.

    The purpose of this paper is to describe who I am but without using labels. I will explore who I really am and then write about what I learned in the process of describing myself.
    To start, I am oversensitive and too hard on myself; perfection is the goal and when I can't reach it (as it is impossible to reach it) I beat myself up. The drive to make myself better leads me to physical activities like riding my bike, going to the gym, and practicing yoga as well as learning how to listen, control my emotions, and improve my abilities to be empathic to others.. Having personal ambition isn’t all bad in that it leads me to be in good physical shape, to learn, and to treat people around me with love and compassion.  It has also driven me to have a relationship with God and to make the decision to serve the Church working in the pastoral ministry.  
    To the point of what I learned; I learned that striving to be perfect and beating myself up for my mistakes is a big part of who I am.  This process I explored in writing this paper continually reminded me that I can’t be perfect and by exploring who I am I can conclude that it doesn’t matter because my imperfections are a big part of what makes me who I am. I also learned that I am more than just labels; describing myself through exploring my activities, faults, and strengths is a lot more complex than a plain label. For example, describing me as a Christian is simple and easy when compared to talking about being on a path to serve God and what my plans for my faith are. I also learned that I may not like myself at times, but generally I do like who I am especially when I explore myself in the manner of this paper.
    Another way to talk about what I learned is to describe my feelings about the process. It was anxiety ridden.  It doesn’t just require hard thought to describe myself, it requires tension, and feelings from the gut. It was a tough process, but I enjoyed the end result. Through these feelings I learned that this paper didn’t just describe me, it explored who I am which has taken me a step further in developing my self-concept.
    In conclusion, this paper helped me to learn how to explore who I am and taught me that my own concept of self is important; I believe that this process if repeated periodically will help to improve my relationships through helping me to understand myself.