Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Use your words

Blessed be the Lord , my rock,
Who trains my hands for war,
And my fingers for battle;
My lovingkindness and my fortress,
My stronghold and my deliverer,
My shield and He in whom I take refuge....(psalm 144, a psalm of David)

How has God made you to serve him? What gifts, talents and abilities
has He given you, and is He training you up in to use for His service
and glory?
David was a warrior king. Much of his life was spent literally running
from men who wanted to take his life, leading his men into dangerous
and life threatening situations or surrounded by many enemies. David
knew the strategic advantage of the right gear and resources for
battle. It is likely that a shield saved him from death many times on
the battlefield, and a fortified tower kept him safe on more than one
occasion. David praises the Lord using many analogies from his own
life, and praises the Lord using words for things that he really
values. If you were to write the Lord a psalm from your own life, how
would you describe the Lord? Use the words of your giftings, passions
and most triumphant life experiences to praise the Lord!

And there was joy indeed...

After receiving a lot of  encouragement to this end, I am going to post a series of "conversation starters"--writings about being in motion, boys and following Jesus. The goal is to be an encouragement to you as you encourage the men in your life as the seek to follow Jesus.

One major application point, if you are looking for one: I would strongly suggest these be incomporated into life "as you are going" with the going part, being taken very literally. Grab your boys, read the verses (or memorize them, and then you are even more mobile!), and then find a way to ask questions, think thoughts together, and plant seeds while moving. There is something very Spirit-like about meditating on the word of God while in motion. I believe that it is worthwhile to engage in habits of structured play, exercise, or training in an intentional way. Seek out the opportunity to be in motion, build relationships, and follow the Spirit together.

As in all things, listen to the Spirit, and respond to him. If you'd like to respond and talk with me about these things in more specific contexts, drop me a note at

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Want, neediness, and Jesus

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to be in plenty, I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

 Paul, in Philippians 4:11-13.

Both Paul and Jesus had many occasions to want for things. What is the difference between living in want, and possessing a neediness of spirit?

Jesus did not let his want of things disturb his constant communion with the Father or displace the anointing of the Spirit. He never dwelt in spiritual neediness, but contented himself with the Father’s timing, even for something as important as the full revelation of himself.

Jesus, eager to eat his last Passover meal with his friends, reveals his body and blood in the food before them. He speaks of the culmination of prophecy, covenant completion, the coming kingdom of God, and reveals himself, with stunning vulnerability, to his friends. Missing the revelation of Jesus himself entirely, the disciples proceed to argue amongst themselves as to who is greatest. The disciples, in their neediness, miss the opportunity for worship entirely (at the very origin of communion, they miss communion!!) and Jesus, the one who washed their feet, graciously speaks to them about greatness and service.

Now, as while he was on earth, Jesus is in want of fellowship with and worship from his followers. If anyone has reason to want, it is Jesus. He is very God who dwelt among his creation, having spoken the redemption story that he both authored and came to fulfill, and yet, in our neediness, we miss him.

Jesus was strengthened in the Holy Spirit with power, having been rooted and established with love, KNEW the love that surpassed knowledge, and was filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. And so He waited on his Father’s timing- then for the eyes of his followers to be opened as he patiently teaches along the Emmaus road and eats meals (Luke 24), and now as he sits at the right hand of the Father, waiting again to come in glory. Not once, throughout all eternity, has the righteous wanting of Jesus fallen into neediness.