Meditation: Filling our mind with the meaningful Word of God

I started teaching a new study this morning at our church.  The study is written by Kerry Shook.  He has written some excellent stuff.  We had a great turnout for the study, and I was encouraged by the desire of many to take another step in their faith journey.  Here are some of the highlights of what we talked about today.  

Psalm 1:1-3 speaks clearly to us delighting in the Law of the Lord.  We are to meditate on it day and night.  
My thought…We can't depend on 2-3 hours a week of "church" to grow us spiritually.  We MUST spend time meditating on The Word of God.  Meditation is filling our mind with the meaningful Word of God.  

Psalm 119 speaks to meditating on the Word as well.  Rich scripture.  

Meditating on the Word gives us a:
secure mind
productive life
fresh faith

When we look at Spiritual Disciplines, we often think of them as something that is no longer done.  This is probably true for many.  We won't necessarily like "the disciplines" all the time, but they will help us grow in our relationship with Jesus.  Just like when you are training for a marathon, the training hurts, but it prepares you and builds up your body.  

We can look at meditation as something that can help us focus on our relationship with Jesus.  Not just something else that we "do".  

Reading from November 2011-2012

I actually enjoy reading.  I think my Mom instilled that in me.  Along with many of my teachers along the way.  I'm not a "classics" reader though.  Last year, I read through the Bible "in a year".  I actually finished a little early.  I really didn't know how it would go.  But the richness of God's Word is incredible.  There is SOOO much there.  It is a gift.  It is what we need to feed ourselves with everyday.  So I read through the Bible.  But I also did a lot of other reading.  At some point, I'll go back and look at some of the books I read earlier in the year.  But starting at Thanksgiving, this is what I read through December:

The Hunger Games
Catching Fire (Second in the Hunger Games Trilogy)
Mockingjay  (Third in the Hunger Games Trilogy)

Quitter by Jon Acuff.  Excellent book!!

Shouting At God by Steve Rose.  (Friend from Arizona that I met after Hurricane Katrina)

Miracle in the Mountains by Lonnie and Belinda Riley.  Great book on the power of faith.

Currently reading:  Voice of the MSU Bulldogs: Jack Cristil by Sid Salter (a fellow Philadelphian)

Edit….Also reading Drew Brees' book:  Coming Back Stronger

Punching a bear in the nose

I've always heard that the way to survive a bear attack is to punch it in the nose.  Seems logical.  If you get punched in the nose, you are at least taken back for a moment.  But I'm not really sure where that came from.  I mean, who actually knows that if you can punch a bear in the nose, he/she will run away.  It probably just means that you are delaying the inevitable.  But….I can tell you this.  If I get attacked by a bear, I am going to do my dog-gone best to punch it in the nose.  Why?  That's all I know to do.  

That's how we respond to many things isn't it.  We don't know what to do.  How to respond.  We aren't prepared.  When you look at the circumstances of life, and the situations that arise, often people (including myself) aren't prepared.  The idea here is that we should be strong in our relationship with God.  We KNOW that Satan will attack.  We KNOW that bad things will happen in this world because it is fallen.  We KNOW that there is sin.  We KNOW that Satan comes to steal, and kill, and destroy.  The question is…..are you ready to punch bear in the nose?  

Live ready. You know it's coming.  

A life filled with moments.

Life is made up of moments.  Moments we remember.  Moments that make us remember why we live.  Moments that are full of life.  The kind of things that happen that make us thankful we have another breath of air in our lungs.  These aren't just happy, joyful ones.  They are moments that are full of hurt and heartache. Life isn't just about the happy times.  It's about making it through the tough ones with friends and family.  The moments where really, our relationship with God is the only thing that can sustain us.  Those moments of life can sometimes seem unbearable.  But we know that God surrounds us with people who help us through those moments. 

The good times, on the other hand, are full of joy and laughing.  I made one of those moments with my family over Christmas.  It started on Christmas morning with my son opening up his final gift:  2 tickets to the New Orleans Saints-Atlanta Falcons game in the Superdome on Monday Night Football.  The day after Christmas.  The joy started when he opened the tickets.  But the making of the moment lasted through the trip down to New Orleans.  Spending time with friends.  Eating cajun food together.  Taking my son to the Superdome and to his first NFL game.  Feeling the excitement as we entered The Dome.  Feeling the excitement of a packed out house.  Seeing Drew Brees break the single season passing record for yards thrown.  Seeing him wave the "foam finger" that I bought him.  Talking about the game on the walk back to the hotel.  Listening to him call his mom when we got back to the hotel to tell her Thank You too.  Eating beignets at Cafe' Du Monde the next morning.  Watching him take a nap beside me on the way back home. 

You see, that is a moment for us.  As a family.  As a father and son.  These moments are what make life full.  For some, it's taking your daughter for some Mom/Daughter time or Daddy/Daughter time.  For others it's going hunting.  Heading out for a "date" with your kid.  Those moments are made with our spouse as well.  We make these moments with our family.  We make them with friends. 

God blesses us with a life live.  Make moments.  Don't just buy things.  Do things together.  Serve together.  Work together.  Play together.  Worship together.  But most of all, live life together. 

 

Life is precious. Don’t take it for granted.

The longer I live, the more I realize that we are only here for a short time.  Whether someone lives a "long" life or it is cut short, we are all here for just a brief moment in time.  I have been reminded of this over and over these past 2 weeks.  When something as simple as driving home from church can tragically change your life by losing a child in a car wreck, or the sudden loss of a parent to a heart attack.  My heart aches and the burden is heavy for people going through this.  Our God, though, is steadfast and loving.  He is the Comforter.   So what will I do:  Cherish this life that we have been given.  Live it to the full EVERY day.  Be a part of the mission of God.  We must live our lives as if each day is our last.  I know that sounds cliche, but it is very true. 

Love on your family.  Love on your spouse.  Give your kids lots of hugs.  Tell them that you love them. Share the Gospel with them.  Don't just spend quality time with them.  Spend quantity time as well.  Because your time is brief.