Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A must read book

My friend Mark Sayers has written a book based on years of research, and keen prophetic insight. This book explores the impact of hyper reality, consumerism and globalism on our culture, and the church. I have heard Mark teach this stuff in person, and the book goes into even more detail.

Please buy this book, and buy copies for your friends.

the good ole US of A


you can also check out his blog and website here:

Mark Sayers

good reading


Palm trees and the prsence of God

The other day I was driving home from taking my daughter to work. As is not unusual in Garden Grove, a car pulled out in front of me causing me to slow down quite a bit. I immediately became incredibly angry. What kind of idiot just pulls out in front of people.

The thing that set this event as different from every single other time this happens, (forty or fifty times a day), is that I actually stopped for a second to contemplate my anger. Was I really angry that this person was causing me to arrive at a stop light that I would wait at for a few minutes, a whole five seconds later? Was I in that much of a hurry to get to that light to sit and wait? What did I have going on at home? Nothing. Why was I being such an idiot.

It was then I remembered brother Lawrence, and the little book practicing the presence of God. Brother Lawrence simply remembered that God was with him at all times, and acted accordingly. So I started to remember God's presence, to acknowledge Him in my day to day. I was embarrassed a bit at my silly anger issues.

Then I saw a palm tree, one of those really tall skinny ones, and it was just standing dead straight. Now a few days ago we had been at the beach and the palm trees were bending back and forth quite intensely. I realized that this tree was sitting in the midst of the air, just as much as the other ones, even though it wasn't moving. And at that point I think I got a bit of God's heart for me and my sabbatical.

You see, I like to see everything. I like the torrent, the wind blowing me all over the place. I experience God in the chaos and turmoil of life. Usually grasping on to Him in the process. It is easier to see the Lord at work in those situations. In fact I think if we are truthful, many of our worship services are designed to atleast simulate these experiences. To get us swaying back and forth so we can "feel the Spirit moving". But this lone tree was standing right in the middle of the air, though you could not see its influence at all. And I think that is what I have been learning on my sabbatical. God loves me, and I am in the middle of the presence, even though I am not in the midst of the tempest right now.

Now I hesitated writing this, because people that need to get off their asses and start living the kingdom might get this message as a verification for their laziness. And those that are out there, in the toil and the dirt, might feel like they desperately need a rest and feel guilty because they cannot take one. But this was God's message to me, to recognize that God is God even when things are quiet, and slow. Maybe God's message to you today is that He is God even when your life seems to be torn apart by action, and storm, so step out into it and trust. Either way, God loves us.


Saturday, July 12, 2008

Gym Meat heads

I was given a gym membership by a good friend of mine. He wanted me to help him get back in shape after a back surgery. Which I was only too happy to do, and it gives me a chance to get in shape as well. I have been struggling with painful knees, ankles and hips, so being able to run on an eliptical trainer instead of the ground has helped. My daughter bought her own membership and likes to go with us to the gym.

So when we are on the cardio machines, there is a group of guys that tends to come in at the same time and lift weights below us. My daughter and I can't help but notice them. Truth is nobody in the gym can help but notice them. They grunt, and bark, and carry on. They drop the weights, and yell at each other. They attract a lot of attention.

Now the other day a friend I met at the gym was working out at the same time. He is a former professional body builder. He is much much bigger than these guys, and way stronger. He is working out by himself, and using very heavy weight. I am watching him, because he is a friend, but no one else is noticing him.

And I thought to myself, how much I am like the other group. Making lots of noise, getting noticed, acting like what I am doing is a big deal. While there are so many wonderful people that are like my friend, just quietly doing what they do, at a far greater level. I want to be more like that. I think that is what Jesus was talking about when he said not to give so others see you, and to pray in private.

Not sure what that means for my blog though :)