Spending Time with God

Disciplining yourself to spend time with God can be a daunting task. Here are a few tips and suggestions to help you on your way.   Set a specific time—ideally the same time every day. I believe there is real wisdom in setting aside the first part of your day for this time of intimacy with God. As I’ve suggested elsewhere, the Scriptures seem to commend the practice of rising early to meet with the…

On Rising Early

Dawn breaks, light trickles through tiny fissures in our carefully arranged curtains, and most of us hide our faces lest the day overtake us. Because of our hectic schedules, being overworked and overtired, our sinful pace of life and idolatry of achievement, we fear the morning.   How different the approach of the psalmists, who longed for the coming of the new day—that they might meet anew with God. To him they offered the first…

Meditations (2 of 4)

This past weekend I had the privilege of spending some time with a group of high school students on our annual retreat. As a community we devoted a good portion of our time to silent meditation on four verses from the Holy Scriptures. Here are some reflections springing from that time of meditation.   Second Meditation: James 5:16 “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be…

Waiting on Congregational Tables

In Acts 6:1-7, we read of a strange moment in church history. Some in the church have begun to complain (this is nothing new under the sun) because a certain group, it seems, has been privileged over another. They bring their complaints to the Twelve. And here is where it gets interesting.   Rather than mediate the dispute, offer counseling, throw a pot-luck dinner, the apostles send the complainers away—because they have more important matters…

Light and Momentary Troubles

Some of the most difficult verses in all of Scripture come in Paul’s second letter to Corinth: “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (4:16-17, NIV).   One wonders how Paul can so cavalierly dismiss the very real suffering he experienced. As he…