26 August 2009

Praying real simple

My friend Mary Corbin has a ministry called His Hands.  It's about taking a small group of underprivileged kids and giving them Jesus.  Real simple, uncomplicated, non-institutional.  Mary awesomely relates to these kids and does things with them to show them Jesus' love.

So yesterday she wrote the following:

I'm teaching the His Hands kids about prayer at Bible Club this month. Yesterday, we talked how Jesus told us to pray simply, and we looked at the Lord's Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13. We went through Jesus' example of prayer line by line, discussing what it meant, and then they were given the assignment to put it into their own words, to apply it their lives and make it into their own prayer. Then we read a few out loud, and I had chills! Here are a few of the boys' prayers:

God you are great.
Whatever you want I will do
on earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us what we need today.
Please forgive our sins
as we forgive people who have wronged us.
Help us in situations not to be tempted,
and get us away from the devil.

Dear Magnificent God,
Your kingdom come,
Your will we will do, in Heaven and Earth.
Give us the things we need to survive,
Forgive us our sins,
As we forgive people who have sinned against us.
Help us not to get into situations that we will be tempted.
Lead us from bad to good, Amen.

Lord, you're good!
Your kingdom on earth, you can make it happen!
I will do anything the Lord wants me to do.
Give us what we need,
Forgive us for all our sins.
We also forgive other people.
Lead us to where we need to go in our lives,
Take the bad away from me,
And bring in the Holy Spirit.

Praying real simple connects us to God's heart!

23 August 2009

Pray for me and my job...

Several months ago, I wrote the following post. In a recent conversation, someone asked me about it, so I went back and reread it myself and thought, well maybe if I re-post, it can help clarify what I'm doing and why I do it... as if anybody (other than the asking person) really wants to know.


I know my job. Well, sorta.

I know that I am a follower of Jesus Christ. I’m not just influenced by Him. I don’t think he was a just a great guy who did cool miracles a long time ago. I don’t think he’s a great philosopher or teacher. He is God. In the flesh with a body. God.

And I follow him. Intentionally.

I follow – attempt to understand, internalize and live out – his teaching, his lifestyle, his commands and his mission. I want to be like Jesus in everything I do. As much as a middle-aged white American born in the South, educated publicly through the ‘60’s can be, I want to live like Jesus. As much as someone who was not born of a virgin or announced by angels can, I want to follow Jesus and live like him.

This is not just some idealistic try-as-hard-as-you-can-and-fail kinda thing. Following Jesus is made possible because he has supernaturally and mysteriously put his spirit – the Holy Spirit – in me. And he lives in me 24/7/365. The Holy Spirit doesn’t just show up on Sunday at 11. Or when I invite him. Or in my worship time. He’s resident in me. In fact I’m his home as an individual and we – as the church – corporately are his temple.

And I listen to Jesus’ internal voice through the Spirit and I follow him. And I’m imperfect both in the hearing and in the following, but I am committed to both. Fearfully and completely committed to both.

His call on my life is to train others to do the same. As I follow Jesus supernaturally by his Spirit, I train and coach others to do so too.

My job is to shape others to follow him in his mission worldwide and to assist leaders and churches in re-missioning!

Re-missioning is the act of moving the Church back into the Mission of God. And what is the mission of God, the missio dei?

The mission of God is about redeeming creation, not just sending a select few to eternal bliss. The mission of God is about people living out their refection of God Himself in character, love, mercy and grace. The missio dei is to redeem men and women so profoundly that they seek justice for others and give mercy liberally, resulting in all creation singing and rejoicing at its arrival!

Chris Wright says, “Fundamentally, our mission… means our committed participation as God’s people, at God’s invitation and command, in God’s own mission within the history of God’s world for the redemption of God’s creation.” (The Mission of God, p.23)

So where have we been if not on the missio dei? Here are some ideas… we’ve been:

    • Chasing revival…
    • Caught up in personalities…
    • Angry that the North American culture has changed…
    • Reading the Bible with a cut-and-paste mentality…
    • Putting “missions” into an open-once-a-year closet…
    • Looking for political answers from political parties to life/spiritual questions…
    • Trivializing cross-cultural missions by making it something done by youth groups and carpenters…
    • Subtly believing that the leadership model of GM is better than the leadership model of Jesus…
    • Talking about “relationship” but meaning something else…
    • Wondering why we can’t attract more people…
    • Forgetting that the message is The King and the Kingdom not heaven…
    • Believing that bigger is better…
    • Singing prom songs to Jesus and forgetting that true love is about action more than hand-raising…
    • Forgetting that the “world” acts like the “world” because it is the “world”…

The greatness of a church is not determined by how many people attend, but by how many are sent! Re-missioning is not simply rejoicing about how many people attend our ministry, but how many people we have equipped for ministry.

Re-missioning causes us to reconsider that it’s not how many people minister inside the church (staff, etc.), but how many minister outside the church in their own unique “mission field.” Sometimes, we’ve been about helping people become more whole themselves – and that is not wrong – but re-missioning is about helping people bring more wholeness to their world. (i.e. justice, healing, relief)

We are the sent people of God, on a mission with him. We’re not angry; we’re not looking for a fight; we’re not afraid. We are on mission with God. He’s active in the world. And we are supposed to be with him in that mission.

We are gathered to send and sent to gather.

I know my job. Help me O Lord to find a way to live it out! In my own life and then somehow to develop it in the life of others.

Pray for me!

19 August 2009


I have bunches of things I want to write about! 

Bunches of ideas, bunches of thoughts, a whole bunch of experiences (Costa Rica, Nicaragua, NextStep, Globe, Valdosta!) and I want to write about them.  But I'm concentrating on writing the book "WHY GOD THINKS HE CAN USE YOU" and quite frankly that - along with the fact that my daughter is getting married (did I get to mention JANE IS GETTING MARRIED??) - takes all my time, energy and resolve!

So, sometime in the near future, I want to actually BLOG again. 

Life is good, because God is awesome!  But it's also complicated!