Thursday, August 22, 2013

Chapter 11 - I need you, Daddy

Lilly has always been a "mommy's girl."  Everything is mommy this, mommy that.  In the last week or so she has began to interact with me even more and last night I heard the words. "I need you, Daddy!"

She was in the bath and from my best guess, just wanted me to come check on her.  As I walked in she jabbered a few things that I couldn't understand, but in the end she was just happy that I came.

This isn't the first time that she had said said she needed me, but it sparked a thought in me.  When I hear her say, "I need you, Daddy," it stirs something in me.  It is as if she understands she can't do something without me.  In that moment, I was required for what she wanted.

As I think about that interaction and think about how we view God, I wonder how it makes God feel when we say, "I need you, Daddy!"  I feel like people over the years we have been taught that God is not a cosmic vending machine (which He is not), but it has almost been taken to the point of we have a hard time being honest with God and telling Him we need Him.

While He is not our cosmic vending machine, I think God has a certain sense of joy when we come to the point of saying, "I need you."  I think when we reach that point is when we too realize we cannot live without Him and that we can't do what we need to without Him.

It is easy to go about life and try to do things in life on our own.  We try and try and try to do everything and we forget that God doesn't want to be a last resort, but rather wants to walk with us and be there with us every step of the way.

Maybe it's just me, but those words, "I need you, Daddy," were beautiful and since I can delight in my child saying that to me, I can only imagine the joy it brings to God when His children say it to Him.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Women as homebuilders

I will admit, I haven't always been a huge fan of Mark Driscoll, however, I have found myself agreeing with his thoughts more and more.  I happened to come across a recoding of him today talking about women as homebuilders and it fell right in line with my thoughts and shares very well an image of who my wife is and why I know her being our homebuilder is the right decision.

I know it is a little long, but if you can find time, check it out.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Conflict with God

 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.”  Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name.  The man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him.  - Genesis 2:18-20

Have you ever read this passage before? I know I have numerous times, but I never really stopped to READ it.  Read it again.  Think about it.

I specifically left out the piece that most of us see as coming right after God created man.  Most of us where taught some where along the lines that Adam was created then the next day Eve was created.  That is not what the Bible says though.  It says that God realized it was not good for Adam to be alone and then gave Adam something to do.

As I think back again to Sunday School I remember how quickly we passed over the fact that Adam named all the animals.  Sure we talked about it a little bit, but I don't remember anyone ever talking about how long it could have taken.  How long do you think it would take you to name that many?  It certainly wouldn't have been something Adam could have done in a few days.  If you look at how many species we have today add back in the ones that have become extinct and possibly subtract the ones some consider to be "cross-breads," there still would be millions of animals that Adam would have to name.  It's not an easy task. It would have taken a VERY long time.

If you think about it, that means God believed something that He created was missing something, but made that creation wait and work.  As I think about it, I remember James 1:2-4. 

 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,whenever you face trials of many kinds,  because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

The interesting piece to me about this idea is that it very well could be that God wanted to mature and complete Adam.  Not only that, but God allowed Adam to go through years of conflict.  Adam, even though He had God and a greater relationship than many of us could even understand, still had to go through conflict and was lacking until God created Eve.  

I mention this today because I think there are so many of us who think Jesus is an answer to all of our conflicts.  We believe that He removes conflict from our lives.  Not only that, but we believe that if we try hard enough and do everything we can God will make us complete.  In reality, God created others to help us become complete.  God created others and conflict so that we can become more like Him.  It is when we embrace both that we can really begin to live our lives as a reflection of Him.

I don't want to take credit for all the ideas posed in today's blog.  Some of the concepts have been taken from a talk Donald Miller gave, and I adapted those thoughts and added them to some other thoughts I have been wrestling with lately.


Monday, August 12, 2013

Catching up...

I must admit, the last several weeks for me have been hard.  I had something happen about a month and a half ago that really effected me emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.  After spending the past month and a half working through it, talking with close friends, and working on turning it over to God I have come to a place where I can move on from that point and look towards God's bigger picture.

I share this bit of information because it really put me in a place that I didn't like to be.  I had a hard time seeing God, processing day to day happenings, and finding joy in the situations I was in. 

Over the last two days I have heard this common theme of conflict an how you will have conflict in your life.  If you don't, your not really living.  I think back to a sermon I heard several years ago from a pastor who said that you need to understand that you have to be willing to acknowledge that everyday will be filled with some sort of conflict.  It is how you respond to them that determines the outcome.

I have found that there are two ways of handling conflict.  You can either run from it or embrace it and look for what God wants to teach you.  As I listened to Donald Miller this morning, he made a point about how all too often we believe that when we accept Jesus, He will take all our conflicts away.  That is just not the case.  I can see where at one time where I could have thought that, but the more I grow in Him, the more I realize God has made me who I am through the challenges that have been presented before me.

This weekend as I was working with some leaders of our new small group ministry, I began to see where God has been working over the past year and it was a great reminder.  It is so easy to miss God and where He is working when things get hard.  I am so thankful for being able to see Him again and see how He is working in ways that we don't even know and how He reveals Himself in His timing and in His way.  We just have to make sure we are aware and looking for Him.

Monday, August 5, 2013

10 Things I Love More Than God

As I was sitting down to write my blog for the day, I came across this video.  I had actually considered writing about a few of these in the past few weeks so when I saw it, I thought it might be a good starting point. 

Watch the video and let me know what you think!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Chapter 10 - What we want

As I was getting ready to head out the door this morning, Taylor said "yay, Daddy is getting ready to leave." When I asked him why he said yay and he said, "because when you leave, we can do what we want."  I talked to them a little more about it and talked to them about making good choices while I was gone.  Ultimately, all they wanted to do was watch a movie, but felt like they couldn't turn one on until I left.

As I headed to work, I thought about the interaction.  The more I thought about it, the more I wondered how often we are like that with God. We want God to "leave" or "turn His back for a minute" so that we can do what we want to do. 

The more I have got to know God, the more I understand that God is not out to keep us from doing what we want to do, but rather He is out to protect us and is trying to help us keep from destroying ourselves. I also know that sometimes some of our wants are not bad in and of themselves, rather we have attached some sort of negativity to them based on what we have been taught or perceived. 

I don't think God wants to be perceived as someone who stands in the way of our desires. I think He wants to be perceived as someone who can see beyond what we see and has a bigger plan and knows what is best for us.  I certainly don't want my kids to be excited for me to leave so that they can do what they want, but rather to understand that if I don't want them doing something it is actually for their own good and because I can see something better for them.

It still amazes me how much my kids help me learn and understand about God.