How to pray when there are no words…

“Dear God, 

Ok Holy Spirit…take over!

Amen.”

 

Sometimes we can’t adequately say what we want to say.  That’s where I have found myself recently.  “God, you know my heart and my mind…you know what I struggle with and my frustrations…Spirit speak for me now because I don’t have the words nor the energy to express them myself.”  Then I just sit there in silence knowing the Spirit is working…and I believe that’s ok.

So how do you pray when there are no words…you concede to the Spirit who is speaking for you.

JM

Fear Not…

Every day for the past 3 weeks I have read this as a reminder for what this day is for.  I wrote it as a gentle reminder that God has a purpose for my tomorrow.  Today I am asking you to remember it as well…

FEAR NOT,

the sun will awaken a new day

revealing a resounding truth…

God has a purpose, so

ARISE

and be a part of its

Fulfillment!!

Fear not and arise…God has a purpose for this day and it’s not for you to become great (sorry Mr. Osteen), it’s for God to become greater in this world and in your life!

JM

Dot…Dot…

…Dot…

Without fail, my students make fun of me for including “. . .” (ellipsis) in my texts.  Believe or not they are included with a purpose.  I always want my students to know when we finish a conversation (whether it be through texting, chatting, or conversation) they can know this is just a momentary pause in our conversation.  I don’t want students, or anyone for that matter, to feel as if our conversation has concluded and the door is shut.

Many times ellipsis indicate an omission in a paragraph or sentence.  It may also refer to the trailing off of a sentence leaving the reader to interpret its meaning.  This is simply not the case with me…we’re not done…this isn’t over just quite yet.

[Insert spiritual lesson here]

That’s the beauty of God.  There is an eternal ellipsis!  I don’t ever have to feel as if God has shut the door on our conversation.  I know I can always talk with Him and when we conclude, we have these three little dots just hanging around begging to be noticed!  “Look-a-here!!  We can always pick up wherever we left off!”

I’m thankful He’s always inclining to hear my cries…my praises for Him…my bitterness…my pleas of regret.  Thanks for the three dots!

With that said…

 

What kind of quirks do you have when you text?

 

The Christmas Playlist…

Somewhere around November 1st we begin piping the Christmas music through the student/college ministry offices.  Let’s face it, it’s the most wonderful time of the year and one of the reasons for this is due to the music this season offers…so I figured I would share with you the music that can be heard while passing by.

Dave Barnes: Very Merry Christmas

David Crowder Band: Oh For Joy

Harry Connick Jr.: What a Night; When My Heart Finds Christmas

Hillsong: Born is the King; We Need a Savior

Bing Crosby: Christmas Classics

Kevin Max: Holy Night

Ben Rector: Jingle and Bells

The Civil Wars: Tracks in the Snow

Relient K: Let it Snow Baby

Needtobreathe: Go Tell it on the Mountain

Folk Angel: Comfort & Joy (new)

It’s hard for me to pick a favorite out of all these, but I would probably lean towards Harry Connick Jr., because I think it reminds me of the music my mom played on the record player when I was young.  If you’re looking for some new fresh sounding Christmas music, I would definitely lean on the Hillsong stuff…It’s pretty much all I play in the house while sitting by the Christmas tree.

I’m sure you have something that’s not on my list…what’s your favorite Christmas album?

Knit Together: Part 5

Home…What else can I say?  We are back and surrounded by that which is familiar.  It’s kind of amazing how much faster time is when you are home.  The days in the DRC seemed to creep by, but the past 5 days (at home) have felt like a collective of one.

I’m kind of amazed at how smooth our arrival home has been.  I can’t say enough about Meredith and Mikayla and how they have loved their sisters.  I keep telling people, “I’m pretty sure Mikayla was born to be a big sister.”  Believe me, I’m not in denial…I am quite aware this will not last, but I will enjoy it while I can.

Sifa and Marie (Yeye) seem to be transitioning well into their new role as daughters.  Let’s face it, up until 2+ weeks ago, they really didn’t know how it felt to be loved as daughters.  I’m not sure they are even able to grasp the concept just quite yet.  For the time being, they are contempt with having two other girls to share a room and toys with.  The language barrier is sometimes a lot to deal with; however, I believe Sifa and Marie are realizing the only language they’ve ever known has no longer found familiarity with those ears which are willing to listen.

After being away for two weeks from work, I unfortunately had to trudge my way back to the office.  I miss what goes on at the house while I am away, but Jen seems to be adjusting to her new role as Mother of 4, quite nicely.  Yesterday they took time out of their busy day of flash cards and counting , and made their way over to the office.  That was a nice little interlude during my second day back.

As of right now, our only emotional moments are at bed time.  “It’s time to go to bed,” seems to strike more fear in their hearts then the night I watched Nightmare on Elm Street for the first time.  We can only assume what the darkness brought to our children in the DRC.  Their tears aren’t an inconvenience and it seems like Meredith and Mikayla understand the darkness of their sisters pasts are probably worth the tears being shed.

With that said, home has been awesome…but what did I really expect!

JM

 

making a name…(a post from the cutting room floor)

…for myself.  As I sat in a room filled with over 1400 youth pastors, youth workers, and students, the guilt and need of confession was overwhelming.  My life in ministry has been clearly focused on the wrong thing…making a name for myself.  We all have fashioned for ourselves our own gods, and we have spent a lifetime wrestling with God as to who/what is more important in our life.  I know it’s a continuous struggle of which no one is exempt and that struggle came to the forefront of my soul tonight.  As God was bringing to mind the things I’ve tried to hide from Him, and bring me to confession, and overarching reality became clear…I’ve spent a lifetime forming myself into my own god.  All my sins are selfish…they are a vain attempt at deifying myself in order for others to notice me and with hopes of the adoration of others.

Wow…that may have been too transparent!  But let’s go on and lay it out…I am simply tired of trying to gain the focus.  Does that make sense?  I feel like I’m stepping in front of the spotlight which is rightfully positioned on God.

The conviction of the Holy Spirit was abundantly clear…rid me of myself.  And as the confession arose in my heart, I could feel the guilt being washed off like suds rinsed from a pair of recently lathered hands…and it felt good.

I was once told, “the throne in your heart is not made to fit your butt.”  So true!

JM

The Summer Reading…

…List!  These are probably the 4 most feared words for middle schoolers and high schoolers across the country.  It’s Summer!!!!  No one wants to read for Summer!!!  Unless you’re a nerd!!  Well…It’s never really been a secret…I’m a nerd.

So I’ve compiled the beginning of my Summer reading list.  I figured I would share it with you, simply because you may want to partake in my joy!  So here we go:

I’ve added links to the books in case you wanted to go and buy them due to your exuberance and a link to the authors sites to ease your mind about whether or not I’m recommending a wacko.  Feel free to join me on my Summer Reading journey…you know you want to!!

What are you reading?  Do you have any suggestions?