Archive for December, 2012

Thirty-ninth in the series Get close to God

Sam Paris recently introduced the S.M.A.R.T. criteria to me as a way to possibly evaluate where we’re at with the Lord.  Is it Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely?  So, let’s see if it works.

Picture what you would like your relationship with Christ to look like.  Do you have any role models that inspire you?  Have you heard of Brother Lawrence?  He served in a monastery in Paris in the seventeenth century working in the kitchen and repairing sandals.  This is how his relationship with the Lord was described:

“For about 30 years his soul has been filled with joy and delight so continual, and sometimes so great, that he is forced to find ways to hide their appearing outwardly to others who may not understand.”

I don’t know about you, but I would like to know God like that.  We’ve discussed the benefits of a close walk with Christ on this blog, and while I advocate pursuing him out of love and not just for the perks, the degree to which we enjoy the perks is an indication of how close we are.  Does God fill your hungry soul better than anything else?

One thing that’s really cool is we don’t have to hope and pray that someday we’ll experience what it’s like to be close to God.  Jesus said, “I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with Me.” (Revelation 3:20)  And James said in chapter 4, verse 8, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”  The ball is in our court.  We can start right now.  It’s not an easy process.  It will involve some lifestyle changes, but it’ll be worth it.

We can begin by expressing our desire to God and ask him to help and guide us on our quest.  Then, we can set some action goals.  We need to be specific.  Concerning time alone with God: when, where and for how long?  How often do we want to talk with him?  Just when we need something, or do we want to stay in touch throughout the day?  How much reading and reciting his Word would be appropriate?  How dependent on God do we want to be?  Do we want him involved with everything or just keep him handy for a backup up plan?  We should then consider if these goals are attainable.  As Monty Waldron says, “God will always give you what you need, to do what he wants you to do.”  So, let’s not settle for business as usual.  Aspire for more!

A friend of mind recently advised me to ask the Lord how I’m doing.  Turns out, that’s Biblical:

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.  (Psalm 139:23, 24)

We can also ask a friend, and finally ourselves: “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves.”  (2 Corinthians 13:5)  To what extent are the fruits of the Spirit being manifested in my life?  How much love, joy, peace and patience oozes out of me?  Do I have a thankful or critical spirit?  Am I greedy or generous?  How often do I enjoy the presence of God and just burst out with a worship song?  Do I ever cry tears of joy?  I know we can’t always go by our feelings, but how can we delight in our heavenly Father without emotions?  I don’t think he intended for us to rejoice in him from a cold heart.  Have fun with God!  Let loose, dance, shout, it’s OK, really.

I don’t want to appear legalistic, but if we find it useful to evaluate our secular job performance, then perhaps we can use our spiritual fruit for some key performance indicators to help us measure our progress.

Don’t just think about your evaluation, write it down.  Be realistic, but stretch yourself.  Then give it some time.  Fruit takes a while to grow.  Joy and peace are not something you can whip up.  They are the results of a life committed to Christ, moment by moment.  Just pick one or two action goals you feel will get you closer to him and then give it all you’ve got.  Find some Christian friends to join you and hold you accountable and pray with them.  You just might be amazed to see what Jesus does with your willing spirit in 2013.

Click here for the entire Get Close to God series


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Christmas Family Reunion 2012

Posted: December 24, 2012 in Videos

Merry Christmas, everyone!

We’ll, I’m back after almost a year of not posting anything, so I thought I should update you on what I’ve been up to.   It’s been quite a year, to say the least.  I took a break from blog writing to start song writing again, became a grandpa on April 5, and then lost my voice while singing in church on May 13th.  Since many of you know the story, I’ll sum it up by saying the Lord delivered me from probable thyroid cancer, and my vocal cord nerve started coming back to life within 6 weeks, not 6 months to a year, which was the prognosis.

I also started leading a men’s group on drawing near to God, called DWELL, which meets once a month.  This has been very rewarding and challenging, as we are learning from each other and being encouraged by the discussions.

Stay tuned for more articles for the “Get Close to God series; but for now, I hope you enjoy this 3 minute video of our Christmas reunion:

Jacob Go Kart on ramp Christmas Reunion 2012 click

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I’m slowly loading videos that used to be on this blog to YouTube since they play better there.
Here’s one that’s ready:

Beaitiful Promises clickI hope these photos with scripture narration inspire and encourage you.


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