Archive for the ‘Think About This’ Category

I Dare Ya~

Drop your pride – lose your agenda – and pray this:
My Lord God,
I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself,
and the fact that I think I am following
your will does not mean
that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that my desire to please you
does in fact please you.
And I hope that I have that desire
in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything
apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this
you will lead me by the right road
though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always
though I may seem to be lost
and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear,
for you are ever with me,
and you will never leave me
to face my perils alone.
– Thomas Merton (1915-1968)
(Thanks Andy for sharing this from Los)

Confession – I Don’t Hunger for God…

I don’t.

How can I when I overstuff myself with the things of this world?  If I were brutally honest with myself, I would see that I overindulge in the temporal and nibble on the things of God.

Is it any wonder I’m never satisfied?

If you dont feel strong desires for the manifeistation of the glory of God, it’s because you have nibbled for so long at the table of the world, your soul is stuffed with small things and there is no room for the great. God did not create you for this. There is an appetite for God and it can be awakened. I invite you to turn from the dulling effects of food and the dangers of idolatry and to say with some simple fast, THIS much oh God  I want you. – John Piper

Take a trip with me – no, its not the beach.  Well, its kinda like the beach, but no water.  We’re going to the  Mojave Desert.  Don’t pack a thing.  Just us.  For two full days we’re sitting in the dead center of the desert.  No shade, not even a blanket to sit on – go ahead, just flop down on the sand.  Lean back on your hands.  Get comfy – we’re going to be here a while.  Feel the heat?  Wow, bright.  No, I didn’t bring any water either.  Remember, just us, nothing else….nothing else but us and God.  Talk to Him, not me.  You’re mad at me anyway for getting you into this oven of a nightmare.  24 hours later, nothing has changed,  well, other than our cracking chapped lips, incredibly parched mouths, and an overwhelming hunger.  Sun’s at high noon.  Not a cloud in the sky.  Still just us… and God, and a paralyzing thirst.

Would you trade this God time for a gallon of water right now?  Ice cold water?  I’m afraid I would…I would trade God for my need.  Ouch.  God forgive me.

I don’t have a longing for God because I have filled up on so many other things.  My soul craves something – there is an emptiness.  But this emptiness can be filled with other stuff. If I would just deny my worldly nibbles, I would find that there is this hunger for God than can be awakened. My appetite for God could actually grow.

It’s time for a major shift.  When I read the following chapter, something within my soul awakened.  Thats it!  Thats whats missing from my faith journey.

Psalm 63

1 – God—you’re my God! I can’t get enough of you!
I’ve worked up such hunger and thirst for God,
traveling across dry and weary deserts.
2-4 So here I am in the place of worship, eyes open,
drinking in your strength and glory.
In your generous love I am really living at last!
My lips brim praises like fountains.
I bless you every time I take a breath;
My arms wave like banners of praise to you.

Somehow I must get to the point in my life were I’d rather have God in the desert than a gallon of cool water. How can I be in the dessert for 2 days and long for God more than water?

For me, it’s a 2 step process:

1 – Eliminate the things of this world that I am feasting on, things that feed my selfish desires, things that I have made an idol.  I just asked the Holy Spirit and He was faithful to show me 5 immediate things.  Ask Him yourself.

The removal of these idols will create a new hunger.

2- Satisfy this new hunger with the things of God – His word, prayer, fasting, ministering His love, being obedient to His calling in our lives.

More of Him….less of me….equals an eternal satisfaction.

Chapstick?

Virtue Du Jour

(Thank you once again Fred.  You continue to speak life and truth into my thirsty soul.)

Welcome to our cafe…

Pull up a chair.

May I share today’s special with you? I think you may love it.  Perhaps you are familiar with it.  I wasn’t before this morning, but after just a taste, mmmm, wow.  I want more….lots more!

Our chef calls it – Candor.

I’ll try to explain, remember, it’s new to me too.  Candor is a virtue, a Latin word meaning whiteness, pure, unreserved, honest, or sincere expression without any fear of pressure.

Sound refreshing?….yeah, me too…I thought the same thing.

Someone who speaks with candor doesn’t mince her words. If you are characterized as a person of candor, I admire you.  I want to be more like you.  It is so tedious going through the mental exercise of dissecting every spoken or written word.  I yearn to communicate with candor.

But candor is not the entrée, it’s an accoutrement (fancy French word meaning accessory). Candor only comes alive when it serves LOVE.

As with all virtues, becoming a student of candor is an art…a talent…risky?  Sure, but if we truly want to speak the truth in love, we must learn to speak with candor.

I snuck a peek at The Chef’s Candor recipe.  Here’s what I saw:

  • a dash of Timing
  • a pinch of Discernment
  • a handful of Compassion
  • and 7 cups of LOVE

Would you like a taste?  Soooo sweet…..

Attention Budget

Attention is finite.

The confessions of a multi-tasker….

Over my piping hot cup of Hazelnut served to the brim of my favorite french white mug, while reading the morning newspaper about the Rays possibly moving over to Tampa, while watching my phone for any incoming emails/texts/tweets, and listening thru my headphones some of Toby’s new:

None of that mumbo jumbo
Give me that hip hop funk soul
Give me that funky Jesus music
Give me that soulful gumbo

I Tweeted – “I WILL stop multi-tasking and start doing 1 thing really well.”

Noise – static – distractions – ugh….

I succumb so easy to them all. And the result is often a diluted effort of my best…

Gina Trapini wrote in a recent Fast Company article: “Don’t fool yourself into thinking you can multi-task jobs that need your full attention. You’re not really having a conversation while you write; you’re shifting your attention back and forth between the two activities quickly. You’re juggling. When you juggle tasks, your work suffers AND takes longer–because switching tasks costs.”

Because attention is finite, I had to prune – gone were 4 activities I loved, not the least of which was Facebook, but they all competed for some of my finite attention, and I was waaaaay over budget.

Budget – yuck.  But not really…

Our time expenditure really becomes a matter of budgeting and management. How much one-on-one can I invest, because that’s where the real value sharing the love of Christ kicks in.

Chris Brogan posed this in one of his powerful posts “Ask yourself this question CONSTANTLY: where can I add the most value to what matters most to me and the people who care about me?

Budget. Set an attention budget, and then spend it!

I spend my online attention on:

  • My blog (1 hour per day). Why? Because I believe that we all have a story that God is playing out in our lives daily.  And that story is meant to be shared.
  • Twitter (20 combined minutes each day). Why? I only follow those who inspire.  God speaks thru them to me all day long.
  • Writing my book (1 hour per day).  Why? Because it’s something that God has placed within me and I must be obedient.

See where I’m going?

Chris gives us this challenge – “What if you did something as simple as take a spreadsheet and put in the top 3-5 things you wanted to spend time on in a day? Just list them out. Put the first thing first (Thank you, Dr. Stephen R. Covey). And so on. Now, what if you made that a sticky note? What if you made that your desktop background? What if you followed your own attention budget?”

What would you be able to accomplish then?

Giving or Taking?

Ogori is a cafe in Japan that poses an interesting challenge, a game if you will, with each of it’s patrons.  You get what the person before you ordered (and paid for), and the next person gets what you ordered.

Would you go?

What would you order?

Cheap or expensive?

Give or take?

Bu-Bye Followup

Facebook firestorm!

Had no idea yesterday’s post would create the stir that it did…more comments and readers to this little blog than ever. It even made it’s way to San Fran where my buddy Andy, author and blogger extraordinaire, had this to say on his always insightful site.

And I had no idea how hard it would be to actually deactivate my FB account this morning! Ugh…

But I did.  Had to.  I know in my heart it is what I am supposed to do.  My personal decision created strong reactions from you – both negative and positive, and that’s a good thing.  I love the dialogue!  Anytime we evaluate and articulate what is important to us, we better understand who we are and what Christ has called us to do.

Please hear my heart on this – I never ever intended to condemn.  Please forgive me if I offended you. I wrote with passion and conviction what the Holy Spirit revealed to me, and me alone.  I will tell you that for every comment, text, email, and phone call I received telling me why FB is great, I had twice as many “you have no idea the issues FB is causing in my relationship.”

So my prayer for you and me this morning is this:
1. Guard your heart. We are in a war.  Slam shut every door that may give the evil one access.
2. Evaluate your time.  Balance is so hard to achieve. You have a specific Kingdom assignment with so precious little time to get it done. Your King and the rest of us are counting on you.
3. Be Obedient. Ask the Holy Spirit, is this what you want me spending my time doing?  If so, GREAT! If not, deactivate.

Bu-Bye Facebook

Facebook. We need to talk.

No, no, no…it’s not you…it’s me.  You did nothing wrong.  You are who you are, and I knew that when we first met.  I tried to break up with you last year, but your pull was too strong…I came running back.

But this time the breakup is certain.  I gotta go.  Please don’t take it personal.  I’m sure you’ll find a replacement for me in a matter of… seconds.  Cause it was never really ME that you wanted, but my time, energy, focus, and attention…all things that are precious to me…too precious to waste on you.

Besides, Facebook is for single people and in my opinion, should be deleted no later than your wedding day.

I didn’t…

The Bible is clear.  In the final book of the Old Testament, Malachi 2 talks about setting up a protective perimeter around the covenant relationship, “And what does he want from marriage?  Children of God, that’s what. So guard the spirit of marriage within you.  So watch yourselves. Don’t let your guard down. Don’t cheat.” (The Message).

I could make an effective argument that Facebook is the worst thing to come along in a long time for married couples or people in relationships. It causes nothing but insecurity and heartache. If you are in a marriage or a serious relationship, why would you need Facebook?

To keep track of old relationships?

To open doors to new ones?

***edit*** of course FB can be used for good, but you must open the door for the good to come in – and bad will always follow an open door.

So today is the end ol’ friend.  You can find me over on Twitter or here on Hooked… where the boundaries are (for now) more secure.

Not judging…just speaking the truth in love as I see it.