Tuesday, November 27, 2012


1 Peter 5

In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because,

"God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble."

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

I think it is interesting that verse 7 talks about anxiety, right on the heels of humility (pride).  Once you start getting prideful, then anxiety comes with it.  You end up being anxious about maintaining stuff to be proud of.  It's all pretty dumb when you look at it from this perspective.  At the end of the day, we are all just people.  Fragile, brief people.

I was thinking about how I have allowed my heart and mind to think about success from the world's perspective.  Just last night, I was calculating the average annual research revenue per faculty at my university and in my college and comparing "my" revenue to the average.  Sort of like King David taking a census of the people in "his" kingdom.  Pretty stupid.  God provides it all.  It is all from Him and loaned to me as an opportunity to advance the Kingdom of Christ.  In the academic culture, success is measured by journal publications and research dollars, but Jesus measures success by attitude/motivation and obedience. 

I was reminded of some lyrics in Lecrae's song "After the music stops":

I don't do this for the money; I don't do this for fame. I don't do this so the industry can know my name. I do this in hopes to glorify Yeshua that came.

Heavenly Father, please help me stay focused on you and your Kingdom.  Please deliver me from the illusion of being someone "important" in the world's eyes.  I am important because Jesus died for me, just like He died for everyone else in the whole world.  Help me see His love and share it.  I love you, and I pray in the name of Jesus.

Monday, November 26, 2012

with the end in mind

1 Peter 4

The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

Regardless of how much (or little) time will elapse before Jesus returns, we are instructed here in a couple of ways:
  1. stay focused
  2. so that you will pray
  3. and love people

So, how do you stay focused?  Prayer, Scripture reading, fellowship with Brothers and Sisters in Christ.  We are supposed to keep the end in mind.  Jesus will return, and in the mean time, we are sharing his love with as many as we can so that they will believe in Him and experience His life.

Heavenly Father, please help me keep the end in mind.  Lord, I want to be sober minded and focused on you and your Kingdom.  Lord, please use me for your good purpose.  I love you and pray in the name of Jesus Christ.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Visit with Uncle George

We drove up to Amarillo this afternoon to see Uncle George, Aunt Jackie, Justin, and Jordan.  We heard about a week ago that Uncle George's chemo wasn't working anymore.

I got to talk to Uncle George a little about teaching and what it means to be a PhD.

Later, Uncle George came and sat at our table while we ate dinner.  He still has his sense of humor.  He made several jokes about dying.  I was wondering how he could joke about something so serious, but I think he taught me this evening that the sadness of illness and dying should not crowd out the joy of life.  He is a model of choosing joy.

As we were leaving, Uncle George told me to take care of my wife and boys.  I told him that I would pray for him and his family.

Heavenly Father, please comfort my Uncle George in the illness that you have allowed him to experience.  Please give him strength and grace in the midst of pain; may he know your presence and love.  Please comfort his family; may they trust you and your loving kindness.  I ask in the name of Jesus.


1 Peter 1

I am thankful for many things. I should be more thoughtfully thankful.  I say that every year. 

1 Peter 1:8-9 NIV

Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

I asked my mom and dad this morning how to be joyful.  My dad told me that the beginning of joy is thankfulness.  I asked how to be thankful.  It starts with telling God "thank you" for things that we take time to recognize as blessings.

I am thankful for grace and faith in Jesus.  I am thankful for my sweet wife and two amazing boys.  I am thankful for godly parents and fun brothers.  I am thankful for dear friends and family.  I am thankful for the vocation that God has given me.

Heavenly Father, I want to be a grateful and thankful person, and I want to be filled with your joy.  I want to enjoy your life.  Please help me abide in your love.  I love you and pray in the name of Jesus.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

humility and wisdom

James 3

13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. ... 17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.

I want to be a humble and wise man.  I want to live a righteous life.  I want to be a peacemaker.  These are character traits of Jesus.  I want to be like Jesus.

Heavenly Father, please help me seek to know you and walk with you.  Lord, please grow these character traits in me.  Please purify my heart and deliver me from bitter envy and selfish ambition.  I am a follower of Jesus, and I want to walk in His way.  I love you, Lord, and I ask in the name of Jesus Christ.

Monday, November 19, 2012

do something about it

James 2

15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, "Go in peace; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?

While it doesn't explicitly include "water", I feel like "thirst" is consistent with the por exemplos in verse 15.  I have been saying that I want to help people get clean water for years, but I don't feel like that is how I spend most of my time.

Heavenly Father, I believe that you have given me a desire to help people get clean water and share the Living Water.  I want to be useful in your Kingdom.  Please help me focus on the things that you want me to do.  I love you, and I pray in the name of Jesus.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


Heb 11
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. ... 6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
Fundamentally, I think you have to have faith to talk to God in the first place.  As I have been thinking about meditation and prayer the last several days, I think you have to believe that you will encounter God - that by prayer and meditation, we can experience Him. 
If the goal of meditation is only self-examination, then it is incomplete.  God should have the full attention of man.  And I think that our full attention warrants conversation.  That is, God allows us to know Him and engage Him; He allows us to talk to Him, and He responds through His Spirit.
Heavenly Father, I want to know you.  I want to converse with you.  Like Enoch, who walked with you, I want to know your person.  I love you. Please give me faith to continue earnestly seeking you.  I ask in the name of Jesus.

Monday, November 12, 2012


Hebrews 8

I think the fundamental difference between Christian meditation and religious mediation is that Christian mediation seeks to experience Christ, to fellowship with His Spirit, to enjoy Him, to hear His instruction, and to obey.  Religious meditation may seek higher-level self-awareness, which may allow for some beneficial improvements, but this practice is incomplete.  We need to consistently encounter Jesus and experience Him.  In such practice, we incarnate Him, and He incarnates us.  Abiding in the vine.

We are enabled to do so because Jesus is the Great High Priest, who has, once and forever, made atonement for us and restored our fellowship with God.

Heavenly Father, I want to abide in you.  I want to seek to know you and walk with you, not just know about you.  Please help me walk in The Way.  I love you, and I ask in the name of Jesus.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

old friends

Heb 3
1 Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest.
I flew up to Toronto on Sunday for the AWWA WQTC, and I got to spend some good time with my PhD advisor and my PhD office mate.  They are great guys, and they have taught me a lot.  Younggy is now a professor at a university an hour from Toronto, so I got to tour his office and lab on Sunday evening.  Spent the night in a bed and breakfast; felt like royalty.  It was so encouraging to be able to see Des and Younggy.
As Younggy and I were driving back to the conference on Monday morning, we discussed the importance of meditation and the similarities between Bhutist vipassana meditation and Christian meditation.  I am convinced that I do not meditate enough; I need to fix my thoughts on Jesus.  This is consistent with Rom. 8:5-6, Rom. 12;1-2, and Heb. 12:1-2.  I think it takes a great deal of intentional mental focus to set your mind on the spirit, and not on the flesh.  Another word for "fix" might be "weld".  Weld your thoughts to Jesus.
Heavenly Father, please forgive me for being so selfish.  Please help me saturate my mind with your truth and life.  I want to fix my thoughts on Jesus.  I love you, and I ask in the name of Jesus.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Practically denying Him

Titus 1

Titus 1:16 ESV They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. ...

Do my daily actions deny the Lordship of Jesus?  Maybe my words (occasionally) confess Him as Lord, but do I negate that by the way that I treat people?  Do people see a guy following Jesus, or a guy focused on his own career and success?

Heavenly Father, please help me clearly follow Jesus.  And please display yourself through me so that others can experience your love and grace.  I love you, and I ask in the name of Jesus.