Sunday, October 31, 2010

frazzled prayers

I woke up late. My phone thought it was day light savings. I'm prepping for this morning's service--an hour behind. I feel like I'm off already. I'm frazzled but ready.

The alarm goes off just after my 2 year-old daughter came into my office, patting my arm begging for my attention. I stopped and gave it to her. I'm still behind. Still a bit frazzled. Praying for calm and peace to lead worship and be used to bring God's word.

6 minutes since I prayed and 54 until the alarm goes off. I'll probally be in church then, my cell in my office
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Saturday, October 30, 2010

driving prayers

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I'm driving home when I realize that the alarm had already gone off. I ran to the hospital to do a visit. Someone was in the hospital and I needed to see them. It's part of being a pastor. There's something about being invited in to someone's life during a time of struggling, suffering, worrying, pain, grief. I was invited in, shed tears with them, was with them.

I left my cell phone in my car. My alarm had gone off while I was in the hospital. Did it go off while I was praying with the family? When I was praying with the parishioner? Doe sit matter. When I saw that it had gone off, while driving down the dark South Dakota highway, I prayed for my parishioner, their family and God's will.

And I continue to pray even though the alarm hasn't gone off yet.

prayer time with the kiddos

I'm taking the kiddos in the church parking lot to ride their bikes. I'm tired and wanted to rest, but they so wanted to go. As they ride the alarm goes off. My son stops riding and prays. I'm teaching him something.

As he's riding his bike, a boy rides up on his bike. My son and the new kid start riding together and comparing bikes. Something tells me i better cherish this moment. Teaching him to pray and ride his bike. Soon he'll be taking off on his own. 34 minutes until the alarm goes off and to pray again. I so hope i can be a good father to my kids.
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Friday, October 29, 2010

lifting prayers

Alarm goes off while lifting. About to do squats. What should i do if it goes off in the middle of a rep? Prayers of safety and wisdom.

I also want to do some heavy lifting in prayer--for my church, for good friends, for those who just need some extra patience today

Back to lifting
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Thursday, October 28, 2010

prayer and coffee

The alarm has gone off. Making some coffee in the afternoon. I've been doing visitations today and taking a break for lunch. As the alarm goes off, Ruth and I are touching base with our day.

The alarm goes off and it is time to focus on my God. Shouldn't I be doing that all the time? When the alarm went off I was almost relieved. I'd been waiting for it, anticipating it.

Coffe is ready. 11 minutes since I last prayed, 49 to go
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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Prayer Comes at the oddest times

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The alarm for the prayer goes off at the oddest times. I know it goes off every hour, but sometimes the hours go by so fast and others I forget about them all together. Now, I'm playing what I call my "heathen mix" on my iPod while taking care of the dishes. Listening to Metallica, Alice in Chains, Beastie Boys and it is time to stop and focus on God.

The kiddos are asleep. It's been a long day. I'm thankful for a quiet house. I'm thankful for a wonderful wife and I'm thankful for a wonderful church to worship with. I thank God for the quiet times. I have 53 minutes until the alarm goes off, 7 since I last prayed. It's time to get back to the dishes. The hour will come soon enough

child like prayers

It's snowing out. In October. Im getiing used to living here. As i start up doing the 60/60 prayer thing again, i see a change in my son. The last time i did it, he would run and yell "time to pray!" We're in a new place now, in a new state, a new world ptetty much. And he now enjoys praying.

When the alarm goes off, he asks "is that the prayer alarm?" "Yes." And then he begins to pray "Dear, God..." I want my son to have a passion to pray. I want him to have a passion for Jesus, for God. Will it start here?

I have 20 minutes to go until the end of the hour. My son is at Bible study with my wife. I will be praying for him as well as for me
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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

i really do what i say

(Originally posted @ 8:45am) waiting to pray 3 minutes to go biking at the gym listening to a podcast...trying to be patient.. hard to bike and text at the same time. Cant hurry the time to pray...want to but need to wait...why am i impatient? Really want to pray or just get it over with?
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how much time

I was realizing. I don't sit down with my friends and say, I'm going to spend 5 minutes talking with you today and then I'm going to leave. I never say to my wife, for 1/2 hour I'm going to sit and talk with you. I never say to my older brother or sister or mom or whomever, I'm going to spend 10 minutes a day talking with you. No. I talk with them off and on. I listen to them. I process what they say and I respond.

How often do we then say "I'm going to spend 10 minutes a day in prayer." or "I'm going to spend 10 minutes a day reading the Bible." If I said that to ANY of my friends they'd laugh at me. If I said that to my wife, she'd get a bit upset. And yet, the one whom loves us the most, the one who moved heaven and earth to make it possible for us to be with him for eternity, will only (ONLY!) get 10 minutes of your day tops! I chat with my brother on Facebook more than that.

I've started doing something called The 60/60 Experiment. It's from a book called Soul Revolution by John Burke. Check out the website (sorry, having issues with the link thingy)

I'm working on continually talking with God. And it's harder than I thought it'd be. For the last week I've been doing this. For every 60 minutes of my waking time, I pray to God. I seek His wisdom. I say a short prayer, and continue on. In the first week, I'm amazed at when the alarm has gone off for me to pray. Even while working out it's made me pause and think.

I'm working on my spiritual journey, and I'm coming to my God in prayer. I'm hoping to post more of my reflections on here as the weeks go by.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

But it's mine

Why do I force myself to do this alone? I mean, really? Why? I plug away at it. I work hard at it. I work out with fear and trembling.

A new friend offered to work out with me. Something that I miss doing. And then, I held back. But that's my time. That's Josh time. That's where I'm at, that's where I hide, that's where I'm in control. You can't join my little bit of the universe. Now, if this person had said "I'd like to check out your church." I'd've been right on board with that. Here's how you get there. This is the best place to sit. This is what I'm preaching on Sunday. That's not a problem. But to invade my sanctum, to invade what I hold so dear and true.

Why did I hold back?

Because it's part of my spiritual journey. My health, my lifting is part of my spiritual journey...and why would I want to share that with anyone... but that's the point. We are. We need to. I'm not in this alone. They eye needs the brain, the brain needs the hands, the hands need the nose...even the appendix is part of the body...

So...I need to break down my own walls. My own worries, and allow someone in on my spiritual journey... lifting weights, walking with God, seeing deeper into my own soul and my walk with God

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Being Accountable

The other day, my phone rang (Main theme from Star Wars). It was my good friend.

"Hey, Josh. I went jogging this morning."
"Dude! way to go, I lifted yesterday and hope to go tomorrow."
"yeah, I lifted yesterday and did outside jogging today, the weather was great."
"Thanks for calling."
"Yeah, I like the idea of us being accountable to one another. It's good to have someone to connect with and make sure we're doing this."
"I know what you mean. How're you with staying in the word?"
"As in personal devotions? I'm doing good. Been going through a good devotional series right now. You?"
"I've been so busy and struggling with it. I've been going through the Today daily devotional and working on doing it. Keep in me in prayer about that. I keep falling behind and don't like it."

And then the conversation went in different directions.

My friend's been my friend since college. We used to lift together. He was my spotter and I his. A spotter is someone there to help you lift the weights, make sure you can lift it, encourage you and if you can't handle the weight, help you lift it up so you can finish the rep safely.

Do you have someone you're accountable with with your physical and spiritual health? Do you have a spotter?

There's something about having a spotter keep you accountable to what you're doing. When we do so physically with our health, it helps us know that yeah, I'm going to have to admit to the fact that I didn't do what I said I would this week, or yeah, I ate that twinkie when I shouldn't have. But also spiritually. Do you have someone who can pray with you? Pray for you? Help make sure you're staying in the word? Help make sure you're walking the walk you profess in Jesus?

If not, I highly suggest you find one.

A few suggestions:
1. Your spiritual spotter should NOT be a spouse. That can cause more harm that good.

2. Your spiritual spotter should be the same gender as you. I don't think I even need to explain why.

3. You and your spotter should agree to connect if not by phone then by person at least once a week.

4. It only works if you are truly honest with your spotter, with yourself and with God.

5. Don't be mean, but don't be soft.

Find a spotter and begin work on your spiritual health!