The remarkable thing about fearing God is that when you fear God you fear nothing else, whereas if you do not fear God you fear everything else.

It is so easy to get out of balance in one direction or another. This is especially true when it comes to spiritual matters. For example, we are commanded to love God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength.  Normally, that would be a great pursuit.  However, some people get so caught up with loving God that they lose sight of the second half of Jesus command to love our neighbor.  Other people are so focused on loving their neighbor that they forget their first love and leave God out of their lives.

On one hand, prayer is so simple even the youngest child can pray.

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On the other hand, we can overcomplicate things so much that we get confused, intimidated, bored, or distracted. Prayer can be particularly challenging to balance.  We can get so focused on our laundry list of prayer requests that we forget to thank God for the blessings he’s already provided.  We can get so focused on praising or thanking God that we never get around to asking for forgiveness for our sins.

There are many prayer methods, systems, and tools. The ACTS pattern has been a tremendous help for me. Continue Reading…

It has been two years in the making.  The first Encourage and Equip book is live on Amazon in paperback and on Kindle devices and readers.

Time_with_God_Cover_for_Kindle from siteTime with God is designed to serve as a resource to help us grow closer to God and to build confidence and consistency in our personal prayer lives. Primarily, we need to remember that prayer is simply spending time with God. Unfortunately, we can complicate it so much that we get confused, insecure, bored, and distracted.

As we focus on God and spend time with him, we can bring our joys and needs to him. Then, we will be better able to partner with God in what he is looking to do in and through us.

At the heart of Time with God is a desire to help develop the habit of communicating with God in practical and powerful ways. Practical, because we will balance four different aspects of prayer. Powerful, because we will use God’s Word as the basis for many of our prayers.

This book is filled with Scripture verses translated from the original languages that have been reworded into prayers. They are chosen to help us nurture and develop our focus on God and our love for him. As you get more comfortable with the concept, it will revolutionize the way you read the Bible on your own.

 

Happy Thanksgiving

November 25, 2015 — Leave a comment

I have so much to be grateful for.  Sometimes, it’s so easy to take our blessings for granted.

I pray that our hearts would overflow with thanksgiving for the many ways that God has blessed us.

Johnson Oatman, the hymn writer, urged us to count our blessings and to name them one by one.  I have listed some of mine below.  How about you?  Care to share in the comments some of your blessings?

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I am especially grateful for:

  • making it through another year.
  • the chance to finish and publish a book–with the help of many friends and family.
  • my family and the chance to be together to celebrate God, life, and each other.
  • friends (both from
  • the chance to serve as an Intentional Transitional Minister and help prepare a church for their next Senior Pastor.
  • the chance to serve as a Marketing Coordinator for by design ministries.
  • opportunities to write or teach knowing that God might choose to bless someone through my ministry.
  • the prospects of what God has in store for the next twelve months.
  • YOU.  Thank you for reading, liking, and sharing posts, tweets and status updates throughout the year.

Photo credit:  DepositPhotos.com 54943239 by PixelsAway

A lot of people find spending time in prayer particularly challenging. They carve out some time. They muster up all their self-discipline and courage, get on their knees, and then say, “OK, what do I do now?!”

Personally, I have often found it helpful to have a variety of resources available to help me stay focused during prayer. I share this not because I am a spiritual giant. Rather, I often find it such a struggle to stay focused in prayer that I have had to discover or develop tools to help.

I have found three resources, or methods, immensely helpful in developing confidence and consistency in my own prayer life. In this book. I weave all three of those methods together for a powerful combination in Time with God: Develop Confidence and Consistency
in Your Personal Prayer Life.

Time with God Book Cover

This book is designed to serve as a resource to help us grow closer to God and to build confidence and consistency in our personal prayer lives. Primarily, we need to remember that prayer is simply spending time with God. Unfortunately, we can complicate it so much that we get confused, insecure, bored, or distracted. Continue Reading…

The Supreme Court delivered another major decision today. Some of my friends will be Partying like it’s 1999 and other friends will be thinking “It’s the End of the World as We Know It”. What an opportunity to Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.

Matt Wade's Picture of the U.S. Supreme Court

By UpstateNYer (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

  • To those who are celebrating, may you enjoy your new freedom to move around the country and the rights that accompany it. Please be patient with those who will be processing what this will mean in the long term. I’ve seen people in both camps voice concerns over the impact.
  • To those who mourn today, my other friends, who are wondering how this decision will affect your ministries or churches, can I share a few thoughts?

Continue Reading…

Thank You Dads

June 21, 2015 — Leave a comment

I just want to say Thank You to you guys who are in the game.

You may not feel like the Best Dad Ever, but you are the one who builds into those young lives every day.

You may not be the coolest Dad on the planet, but love covers a multitude of uncoolness (my paraphrase).

Thank you Dad.  Thank you for all you do.

We need you.

We appreciate you.

Picture of kids saying Thank You

(Note: Today’s post is written by Kelly O’Dell Stanley, the author of Praying Upside Down, which releases today, May 1, published by Tyndale Hose Publishers.)

I don’t know about you, but my favorite way to pray is upside down.

I’m in good company. Jesus constantly surprised his followers—and critics—with His unexpected answers. Jesus always challenged the status quo. He looked beyond the surface and wasn’t afraid to flip things around.

One Sunday morning when my son, Bobby, was six, he left our pew and walked straight to the front of the church, up the steps onto the platform, right in the middle of our worship. Pastor Nathan was sitting in a chair off to the side, putting the finishing touches on his sermon notes. Bobby circled around the worship leader, ignored the musicians, and climbed into the seat next to Nathan. With a sigh, he leaned back and then scooted to the edge of the chair. The big smile and hug Nathan gave him weren’t a surprise—Nathan had taught all the children that they were always welcome to come up front. That day, as I watched through tears, I finally understood the beauty of having direct access to God. Knowing that He welcomes me, and you, with joy. No matter who’s watching.

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This must be what Jesus meant when He spoke to the adults who tried to shoo the children out of the way. Continue Reading…

PrayForCourage

The coward seeks release from pressure.

The courageous pray for strength.

–Frances J. Roberts

I wait for the Lord, with bated breath I wait; I long for His Word! 
Psalm 130:5 MEV