Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Comments on Praising God with all my gut

I personally am going through a lot of change as well as in my work place. I'm having a hard time realizing that everything about my life is in flux. Normally a person in this type of situation probably wouldn't have a clear head.

Here's what I'm talking about:
-I'm rethinking what my faith is all about.
-I'm believing that God is my source of self-worth, not my performance.
-I'm realizing that the organized church and God are not always synonymous.
-I can't do all the tasks that are asked of me at work.
-I can faithfully serve God as a Called Worker and husband/father at the same time.
-I must not let my work/role as a Called Worker come before my wife and family.
-It doesn't matter what other people (inside or outside the church/workplace) think about me because I have extreme value because of who I am, God's special son.
-I'm rethinking what my role at work is.
-I'm changing how I am at home.

In summary, I'm completely changing my foundations of life: personally, at home and at work. At the same time, so is my wonderful wife. At the same time so is my church.

If my person, family, work and church are all changing at the same time, where do you think my stress level should be?

But how do I feel? I'm for the first time, trying to praise God with all of my gut.

Praise God with my gut?

Jon's Version of Psalm 103:

Lord I praise you with all my heart.

All you members of my body and everything deep inside me, praise the Lord.

(I can't believe I'm saying this.)

My soul praise the Lord!

My body, mind and emotions, let us all remember who God is:
- He forgives all of our (that's you, my body, mind and emotions) sins.
- He heals all of our illnesses.
- He pulls us out of Hell.
- He covers us with love and compassion.
- He gives us good things for our desires so that our energy is restored.

Do all of you, my body, my mind, my emotions, praise God and remember who God is?

(I've never thought about praising God this way, with all my gut.)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

God Hiding

"I'm not right." That's something I say when emotionally I'm all mixed up. That pretty much describes me these days.

I'm hurting. I'm happy. I'm alternating between the two.

I'm hurting because stuff going on a work and missing dad.

I'm happy because for the first time in my life I'm realizing why God loves me, me!

I'm kinda happy because Prof. Wendland from the seminary said at the WELS Prayer Conference that when someone's hurting, don't always bring out the passage that all things work for the good because it hurts. Admit it. "It hurts!" The answer to pain is looking at Jesus. He was hurting on the cross. He cried out in pain, "God why?!" And in the midst of pain there God was hiding. He was there making salvation for all possible. He was there working hard with lots and lots of pain to save me. to save dad. to save my family.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Prayer within a busy week

It's a busy week. More than usual. (Directing VBS, coordinating a joint school food service program, fixing phone system and computer problems, calling the repair man for the broken garage door, preparing for a funeral, making worship DVDs, preparing for a wedding, and making adjustments to the payroll system, etc.)

Is your week busy?

As I was preparing for this week's prayer group, God confronted me personally.
Even in my extremely stressful time, God talked via John 16:23 John 16:23 and Martin Luther.

Jesus said in John 16:23, "I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name."

Luther said, in his explanation of this verse, "You are to look closely at this command to pray and stress it. You should not consider prayer an optional work and act as if it were no sin for you not to pray-- as if it were enough that others pray. You should know God earnestly commands us to pray with the threat of his supreme displeasure and punishment if it is neglected. His command to pray is the same as his command to have no other gods, not to blaspheme, not to abuse God's name, and to confess preach, laud and praise his name. He who does not do this should know that he is not Christian and does not belong in the kingdom of God."

I realized that I have sinned.
Maybe you too?

As I looked back in my life, I see that my prayer life has fallen.
I used to pray more and with more people. In fact, I used to lead prayer groups.
While I'm still praying, it's not like I used to.

For me, God has given me today's reminder and the opportunity to be part of St. Matthew's prayer ministry, to bring me closer to him and to rekindle my desire to pray.

In my day and week that is so full, God spoke and I prayed.

How is God working in your life?
How has God spoken to you via John 16:23?