Digital Devotion: When You Find The Donkey Donkeys You’ll Find Your Destiny

1 Samuel 9:5-6

3 minute read

1 Samuel 9:5-6
“Saul said to his servant, “Let’s go home. By now my father will be more worried about us than about the donkeys!” But the servant said, “I’ve just thought of something!

In 1954 a milkshake salesman named Ray Krok was traveling the country trying to sale his “Milk Shake Multi-Mixer.” Sales were plummeting, so it got Ray’s attention when a burger stand in San Bernadino California purchased eight of his multi-mixers.

Digital Devotion – Forgetful Faith and Answered Prayers

1 John 5:14-15

3 minute read

1 John 5:14-15
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.

I’m willing to bet you’ve experienced “The Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon” many times in your life, you just didn’t know what to call it. The Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon, coined in 1986 by Terry Mullen, is when a concept or thing you just found out about suddenly seems to appear everywhere.

Digital Devotion: God Is Able, But So Are You

Genesis 6:21

3 minute read

Genesis 6:21
“And be sure to take on board enough food for your family and for all the animals.”

Tony Campolo was once a guest speaker at a mission rally, when he was asked to lead in prayer for a missionary doctor the group supported. The goal of the prayer? That God might provide the $5000 urgently needed for the medical centre the doctor ran.

Tony informed the congregation that he would not pray for a miracle. He knew his audience was made up of people who were materially prosperous. So he declared he would pray only after everyone in the room gave all the money they had on them that day. The congregation was stunned, but when Tony started emptying his pockets they knew he was serious. After some hesitation everyone started following suit. What started as a prayer for a miracle turned into a prayer of thanksgiving; by the end of the giving they had collected $8000, much more than was needed in the first place!

It’s crazy to think civilization rested on Noah not forgetting to stop by the grocery store on the way home, isn’t it?

In Genesis 6, society had taken such a dire turn for the worse God decided to flood the earth and start over with Noah, his wife, and three sons. Over the next 100 years, Noah built an ark to the exact specifications God had given him. The Ark was 510 ft long (that’s long enough to hold three space shuttles) and 50 ft tall (the equivalent of a four-story house.) The completion of the Ark was supernatural, no doubt, but don’t mistake supernatural intervention for the absence of work ethic, talent, and study.

God could have easily spoke an ark into existence saying, “Let there be an ark,” and voila, Noah would have been the captain of the finest vessel on the sea. Noah probably suggested the creation option to God after a long day’s work looking at the blisters and splinters on his hands, but God didn’t speak a boat into existence, He spoke an idea into the heart of a man, which brings us to verse 21 of Genesis 6.

The first time I read this verse, I literally laughed out loud. Think about the lunacy of the words God spoke to Noah. After 100 years of faithful, hard work and ridicule from peers, God ends his conversation with Noah by adding, “Oh and by the way don’t forget to take enough food on board for everyone.” If I understand God’s instruction correctly, I think it means survival hinged on ramen noodles and PB&J sandwiches. Can you imagine if after 100 years of faithful obedience and hard work Noah didn’t survive because he ran out of food?

I have a love-hate relationship with Bible verses like this one. I love them because it reminds me I play a key role in God’s most miraculous endeavors. I hate them because it reminds me God rarely provides supernatural help for something I can do naturally. Which raises the question, “How often do you ask God to do something you could have done yourself?”

God can heal a marriage that refuses to go to counseling

God can lift a family out debt who won’t live on a budget

God can speak to someone who forgets to pray

God can deliver an addiction in secret

But more often than not He chooses to produce extraordinary miracles through ordinary obedience. What if God has already done the hard part he’s just waiting for you to do your part? Is there something you could do that seems ordinary, but once God does his part, it could become extraordinary? Stop waiting. No more excuses. Pray hard but work harder. You never know what might happen, just about the time you think you might run out of food, God may turn a few fish into a meal for 5,000.

The Best Way to Have More Of Your Prayers Answered

2 minute read

Recently I bought a new car, a 2008 Maroon Ford Escape. I’m sure this has happened to you too, but after I purchased the Escape I see other cars exactly like mine everywhere!

I never noticed maroon Ford Escapes before mine, but now I can’t not see them. I’m not crazy, it’s neuroscience, it’s called “The Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon” coined by Alan Bellows.

Am I Allowed To Pray About That?

Setting the odds on prayer

5 minute read

Tell me if this sounds familiar to you. You’re sitting in your car waiting for the police officer to come back with your license and registration.

Whether or not he gives you a ticket is a toss-up. At the moment, based on the fact that he didn’t smile when you attempted a small joke, you would put your current odds at around 80/20 you’re getting a ticket.

Why Prayer is Boring and 3 Ways To Fix It

4 minute read

Have you ever experienced PADD? (Prayer Attention Deficit Disorder)

You decide you want to pray more, so you find a spot and a time and began praying. It starts well enough until you run out of things to say. Your mind wanders, you begin to think about random things.

Why some prayers are answered and others are not

Why some prayers are answered and others are not.

3 minute read

When you grow up as a pastor’s kid you learn how to pray out loud pretty quickly.

You start out with the repetitious prayers, like “God is great, God is good,” or “Now I lay me down to sleep,” but over the years your prayers age with you.

A Mom Trying To Find Time For God

Spirituality for the rest of us

2 minute read

I love my husband and I love his passion for spending time with God, but when I hear him talk about finding time for God and the Bible I’m jealous of his availability.

Pastors, who, while busy, are also paid to schedule time for study, write most of the books I read about reading the Bible, prayer, or journaling. I’m not blaming or claiming they are doing anything wrong, but I’m a full-time teacher and a full-time mom, whose day starts at 5:30am and ends when I finally manage to crash onto the bed after bringing my house to a rest.

How can the rest of us ‘non-professional Christians’ have quality time with God when our schedules are dominated by full-time responsibility?

Someone once said, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” If I were judged based on my intentions I would be successful, but the reality is, my intentions to grow and commit more time to God, have fallen short. I struggle, daily, to put God first—probably like many of you—and feel handcuffed by the promises and plans I constantly constrain myself to.

I am the type of person who enjoys cutting grass, because I can instantly see the progress I‘ve made in completing a project. I regularly start new books because of the anticipation and excitement of wondering what lies in the pages. But, I lack follow through.

I’m jealous of people who have control over their daily schedule and can find quiet moments to “get away with God.” My day is literally dictated by bells, and movement, and carpool, and practice times. I wrestle with the idol of agenda and routine.

I confess I’ve never made it through an entire Bible-reading plan, but I do find comfort in this truth—God is less concerned about me “getting it right,” and more concerned about me resting in his “all sufficient grace.” While I pressure myself to become a better person or check-off another agenda item for God, God is interested in me. Simply me. God’s scale for my life is more than my qualifiable and quantifiable do’s and dont’s. His scale takes into account every variable, every emotion, and every ounce of heart and is able to judge as only God can judge- justly and individually. His scale is one that is personal, and custom fit just for me.

[bctt tweet=”God is less concerned about me “getting it right,” and more concerned about me resting in his all sufficient grace” username=””]

The reward lies in the moments when I am able to sneak away. It may be inconsistent at times and interrupted by little voices needing my attention, the phone ringing, or some other unforeseen interruption, but in those moments when I do manage- even if they are brief- to truly seek God, I find again, He’s not waiting to reprimand me, He’s waiting to refresh and replenish what others have stripped from me.

Thank you God, for your “unforced rhythms of grace” (Matthew 11:28-29 MSG)

3 Reasons Why I Journal, and You Should Too

Why you should start journaling today

2 minute read

When I say I “journal” you may get an image in your mind of a grown man sitting on his bed writing to his “dear diary” but that’s not what I mean by journaling.

Did you know that successful, manly men, all throughout history have kept a journal? George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Mark Twain, and Gen. Patin, are just a few of the men who have realized the power of taking the time to write down their thoughts.

I started journaling about 2 years ago, and it has changed my spiritual life. Let me give you 3 reasons why you should start journaling today.

1. To remember the important things

Have you ever had a great idea, only to not be able to recall it when you needed it later? Our minds are always running a 100mph and by writing things done we can make sure the important things aren’t forgotten. I’m not talking about grocery lists or phone numbers even though writing those things down isn’t a bad idea; I’m talking about deeper things we shouldn’t forget. Thoughts and ideas after spending time in devotion with God, or spending an important day with your family. How incredible would it be at your kids wedding to be able to pull out what you were thinking the day they were born or the day they started kindergarten?

2. To find your inner voice

You’re not going to believe me, but underneath your surface level is an intelligent, thoughtful, author. I don’t mean that you will write a book one day, but I mean that you have the ability to write words that will surprise even you. Something happens when we write instead of talk. We have perfected our “speaking” language, so we tend to use the same words over and over again. But magically when you begin to write you express yourself in ways you would never express yourself verbally. You can’t help it, it’s the power of pen and paper.

3. To record God speaking

I believe that God is constantly speaking to you and me, the question is, are we listening? I’m not implying that you will hear the audible voice of God like Darth Vadar through your ceiling, but I will make you a promise. Write down prayers or thoughts you have after reading the Bible or listening to a sermon, and when you go back and read them later, you will be amazed at how spiritual your words are. It’s true! Most of the time when I’m writing I don’t think I’m writing anything extra special or spiritual but 2 weeks, 2 months, or 2 years later when I go back and read what I wrote I see God was moving the pen in my hand. I can’t tell you how many times I wrote down something I was thinking or feeling having no clue what was going to happen in my life 48 hours later. When I look back now, I can see how God was speaking to me before I even knew I needed him to.