Saturday, August 22, 2009

Blown Expectations

Life would be so much easier if we could live lightly with little expectations. If we could live easy, flexible lives, we would never get frustrated, disappointed, or upset. I know that is a major oversimplification but it seems that expectations do way more harm than good. We expect things from our spouse, our children, our friends, our church, our meals, our vacations, etc. Then everytime our expectations are not met, we get disappointed and our attitude suffers. Life would be so much better if we just accepted life and relationships as they came. I am not saying things would still not be hard work and require intentional living. I am just referring to living with as few expectations of situations and others as possible.

I noticed two things about this yesterday. As the Suiter family explored southern West Virginia, my expectations were blown out of the water and I was not happy. After I got frustrated, it negatively affected everyone in my family for the next 6 hours. It was not good because I allowed my expectations to dictate my attitude, perspective, and outlook. It would have been so much better for me and my family if I had been more flexible. The second thing I noticed is that with innocence and trust comes few expectations. My kids are so good in this area. They trust their momma and daddy so much that they are just along for the ride. They want to have fun and experience fun things but if we ride in the van all day and that's what momma and daddy say we are gonna do then that's OK with them. They have little or no expectations and it shows in their happiness and joy in the little things. We adults need more innocence and trust.

After this experience, I wonder how we approach God in the realm of expectations. I wonder how often we get frustrated or disappointed with God because He doesn't do or respond to our prayers the way we expect Him to.

Wouldn't life and our walk with God be so much sweeter and filled with less stress and more joy if we would let go of so many of our selfish expectations and just allow God to take us wherever He wants us to go. Wouldn't our relationships and life events be so much better if we would lower our expectations of others and situations.

Just a thought, but after all this, lower expectations seems more Christian and less worldly. I'm gonna try to live my life with less expectations and more trust in God and more flexibility with others and situations. Maybe then this pain in my neck will go away! :)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Death By Selfishness

"Selfishness is a form of slow suffocation, choking us on the limited air of our own self-interest."

"Some people are imprisoned by their demand for comfort. Others are imprisoned by their demand to be noticed, or appreciated, or respected. Some of us are imprisoned by being selfish with what we own. God invites us to experience a new freedom and a new joy that is found when we ignore our first selfish impulses and allow God's Spirit to give us a heart for others. He wants us to expand our focus and turn our eyes away from our own small world, and to find ourselves by losing ourselves in service to His people."
Gary Thomas

I wonder how long it would take for the Church of Jesus Christ to completely change the world if we actually laid ourselves down and actually lived like Jesus calls us to. It is amazing how selfishness controls us. It is amazing that we are so self-centered and we really think that it is about us. We never say that. We just act like it. I need to get my focus off of me and onto Christ and His church and His mission for a lost city and world. God help me/us if we keep making it about us! Help me/us to get serious about You and others.

Lets forget about ourselves and magnify Him!!!!!!

Friday, August 7, 2009


Check out this amazing song! It is SO good. It is by one of my favorite bands and song writers (Martin Smith and Delirious). Let the Lord speak to you through it. Worship Him! I haven't checked with Ian yet but I am hoping we can do it at a Crossroads gathering soon. Enjoy!

My New Ride!

Just got me a new ride. Here it is. It is a 1998 Isuzu Amigo. Brannon and Anna love it!

Among Dark Hearts

You have got to check out this short excerpt of a piece of writing from Bernard of Clairvaux. He wrote it somewhere around the year 1125. It is amazing how clearly and relevantly it comes across after 900 years. Check it out!

"Churches are full of people who are fairly miserable because they are still bound to earth, and not free in spirit to soar with the joys of heaven. And as for good character and godly living - it seems that the quality of Christian character goes down as our numbers increase.

For now, it must be so. You and I must live among others who fill up the church and whose hearts are truly dark. Run from any 'Christian' who lives to please his flesh, as if you were fleeing from the worst danger. For fire is prepared for all those who lead little ones astray. Do not let your profession of faith - 'I am following Christ' - turn out to be a mockery.....

Do not be led out of your place in Christ, I tell you. Instead, remain true to God and you will know the true working of grace, which gives strength within."

Truth and Rubbing Alcohol

I was thinking again this morning how truth has the tendency to make you mad or make you holy. There is no middle ground with truth. It made me think about pouring rubbing alcohol on an open wound. Its really good for you because it kills bacteria and promotes healing but it really hurts a lot. Truth is a lot like that. It can really hurt (and usually does) but it has the tendency to kill sin and wrong thinking in our lives and promotes life transformation. I want to always be open to God's truth (btw - its the only kind). It is difficult to welcome it into our lives, but the benefits are way better than blocking it out.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Spending Time With Daddy

As my girls get a little bit older, I am amazed at how much "daddy"time that they desire and need. It is crazy how many times a week that I hear, "Will you hold me?" Every time I leave the house, Brannon and Anna ask if they can go with me. Sometimes to calm them down or hold them off from rushing out the door with me, I must make a promise for "daddy" time later in the day or week. Another thing that Becky and I have noticed concerning this issue is how the girls act when there is a lack of "daddy" time. If I am gone for any length of time, the moment I get home, Brannon and Anna cling to me. I can hardly go to the bathroom without them following me. Also, the longer I am gone, the worse their behavior gets. It is a strange phenomenon but one that is not without merit. Its true in every facet of life and culture. "Daddy" time is vital. That is one of the main reasons our culture is going down the toilet. Too many daddys are not spending enough quality time with their children and it is killing our culture!

The real application that I want to make is how this issue with me and my girls is like us and God. We NEED "Daddy" time! When we don't get it, our behavior goes downhill fast. Also, as I have been thinking about this recently, I have been asking myself how much do I crave "daddy" time with God. It has been a good question for me because I have concluded that I do crave it. I desire God so much. My "Daddy" time with God may not look like others and it may not always look the same in my life, but the truth is I do crave time with God. I want to be with Him. I want to know Him. I want Him to teach me and lead me and hold me. I desire and definitely need God way more than my girls desire or need me. Both of these lessons and insights have been very healthy for me as a "daddy" and as a "child".

Now, go spend some time with your kids (if applicable) and go spend sometime with your heavenly Father. You need it! :)