Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

Today I write with a heavy but joyful heart. Today, I am officially without a grandparent from my side of the family. While Heatherly and I still have one grandmother and one grandfather, in the past two week we have lost my dad’s dad (Dale McDaniel) and my mom’s mom (Sarah Woodruff). We have also lost my cousin Grant Hinds to early and in a tragic way. Death has been ever present. We mourn, we weep and yet for each we are grateful and excited for their new and eternal life. For these, time is no more, only eternity.
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As we move to the second part of our prayer, we move into a very counter cultural form of prayer, confession. Oh how we don’t like this section very much. It goes against a world that basis life on what feels right in the moment, what pleased the flesh. It intrudes on our perceived freedom and choice and asks us to seek something longterm, beyond the moment. It demands that we judge ourselves and to define boundaries for what is beneficial and good for us in the long run as well as what is good and beneficial for those we share community with. It demands an account of our participation in something larger than the simple me and seeks accountability to a social structure of our humanity that we cannot deny. In other words, it forces us to judge our life styles as those seeking to promote or restrict the quest of humanities ultimate end and for Christians, the pursuit of God’s kingdom reign. It forces us to see ourselves in light of the whole of creation and in light of God as creator.

However, it is truly the only place to go after adoration. How in the world can we stand before the creator, who set the earth spinning on the perfect tilt, precisely to the centimeter or better in range of the suns warmth (a cent. closer we become BBQ brisket, a cent. further we become frozen otter pops). As such, God doesn’t expect perfection, in fact, he expects that we will need him but it is only in our acknowledgment through confession that we humble ourselves and remind ourselves that God is God and we are the creature. While very good, still in need of his grand hand to bring about our redemption.

Please feel free to leave very personal confessions and to do so anonymously or you can email me directly if need be at les@vinelifechurch.com.

Starter Questions:

1) Where in your life do you keep struggling? Ask God to forgive you in your desire to control your destiny.
2) Have you spoken ill of a boss, a friend, a coworker? Ask God to forgive you and ask him to empower you to confess to those you have spoken ill of.
3) What habits, addictions or obsessions do you claim? Have you ever asked yourself the question, “I wonder if my [insert habit/addiction/obsession] is a problem?” In asking the question, you’re gut is speaking truth in areas that you need to confess.
4) How have you abused power or claimed power that did not belong to you?

The words ring so true! Yet, so rarely are they uttered from my lips.

My prayer is to love and acknowledge my love for him more each day. Is there power here? Can we really say these words to Jesus, to God and even to ourselves and continue to live untransformed lives? I wonder what would happen if we substituted positive self talk for Jesus loves me and Oh how I love Jesus talk. Could the fact that he first loved me, make me love others even more, speak more kindly, extend more patience to my children, my wife, the church, the lost.

Can you and I utter these words and continue to ignore the poor, the homeless, the widow, the orphan and the sinner? Again, we love because he first loved us. Where is the pride in our ability if we can’t do it alone?

Sing with me!

Oh, how I love Jesus,
Oh, how I love Jesus,
Oh, how I love Jesus,

BECAUSE HE FIRST LOVED ME!

Amen