Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Why I didn't blog on Monday

I love my YouVersion Bible App! It's like that little angel that sits on your shoulder telling you what you should and shouldn't do - in an app! I get to pick a reading plan that's good for me, check off when I'm done - and get reminders when I fall behind!

And that's why I didn't blog on Monday, as I normally do.  I've been very behind on my reading. I'm not talking about just reading to check off a list - but real, sit down, one on one with God, quiet time kinda reading.  You wanna know what the worst part is? The distractions are not big outside issues, they are more 'busybody' type distractions. I think this goes back to the Mary vs Martha discussion.

I just picked up a book a few weeks ago called Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World.  It's a great read so far - (Yes, i'm behind on that as well!). It talks about the misconception many people have with running around and doing services here and there, and also talks about the other side where God doesn't want someone just sitting in their room their whole life praying about things and changes, when we could be the ones doing it!

One of the best things I've heard a great man say before was, "Don't let prayer be a scapegoat". At first, I said to myself "Heathen!!" - then I came to my senses and realized there is much more behind this phrase. We can sit and pray and read and pray and read and fast about things and look for answers, when God is telling us to get up and do it! Bishop Paul of Mission Affairs in Africa said this to a few people - when they were inquiring about going to Africa.  They had the time off, the money, the group, everything - but they said "Lets pray about it". Now don't get me wrong, I'm NOT saying that is wrong - but when that is given as an answer too much, it may appear to be a 'scapegoat' from doing what God is asking us to do, no?

On the other side, serving too much without down-time is not beneficial either. We can be blinded by the fact we are doing so much that we may think we're okay. When all we are doing is forgetting about the inside of the cup.

Balance is very imporant, which is one of the key principles this book talks about.  It was said of St Gregory of Nazianzus that "His ideal of Christian perfection was a balance between action and contemplation. He sought to embody this ideal by alternating between periods of active ministry and solitary, prayerful, scholarly contemplation."

I need to focus on not overloading one side of the scale - do you feel this way as well? Is there one side of the scale that is taking over?

Monday, May 7, 2012

Pentecost - 3000!

Pentecost is supposed to be a big huge deal in the Christian faith, but more often than not, all we see is a longer liturgical service...and that's all. Well, it looks like The Holy Spirit wants to stir things up a bit through connecting the Coptic Orthodox Church all around the world.

What if, in addition to the powerful liturgical re-experiencing of the first Pentecost, we also invite the world around us to meet the God we love and cherish? Crazy things are bound to happen. We might even have some mass conversions on our hands and get a nice case of Pentecost deja vu.

The best thing about this idea is that it seems to have the best of both worlds; the legitimacy and backing of our Fathers, the Clergy (as His Grace Bishop David is fully backing this idea) and also the excitement of a grass roots movement that will be executed by dedicated youth all over the world.

The possibilities are endless here as we band together to make this Pentecost weekend the most special one since the one in the first century. We'll declare with our actions that famous line of the Orthodox Creed "Yes, we believe in the Holy Spirit." We believe in His divine ability to change the world. We believe in His transformational Presence in our lives and hearts. And we believe that He can stir hearts and lead seekers to be able to be able to declare the divinity of Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 12:3)

Join God in this incredible work! Visit, download the starter kit, and take steps to making it happen in your community! He's been planning this for a very long time...let's join Him.