Archive for January, 2013

I talk to God. That sounds crazy to me even as I say it. I mean think about it. I, one of 7 billion people on planet earth, have the attention of the God who created the entire universe and everything in it. I told you it was crazy, but it’s true. We have coffee together every morning and we talk. Actually, I drink the coffee, but we both do the talking and the listening. You see God has invited me, and you, to meet with Him and talk. That’s right, God actually wants to talk with us. In Matthew 6 Jesus is teaching His followers about prayer and He says this:

“But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” (ESV)

Bible-n-CoffeeGod invites us to meet with Him, one on one, and talk. That’s  what prayer is, it’s ultimately talking and listening to God. Through prayer we can thank God, ask God, tell God and hear God. Pretty cool, huh?

When I meet with God each morning, I do all of these things. I tell God my concerns and worries and troubles. I ask Him for help and wisdom for me and those I know who have a need. I thank Him and just enjoy His presence, and I listen. I don’t hear an audible voice but I do believe I hear the voice of His Spirit speaking to my spirit. Romans 8:16 says:

“The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.” (ESV)

When I pray, I have my cup of coffee, but I also have my Bible open. I read it and I know that God is speaking to me through it. I also just sit with my eyes closed and my heart open and when I pray about certain things I get a sense of peace, or a thought will come to me and I will begin to think differently about what I’m asking. I don’t come to God with a list to check off. I just come to Him with an open Bible and an open heart. I put my whole life before Him and I know He cares, and hears, and answers. I know because I can see each day how He answers my prayers in big ways and small ways.

I talk to God, and He listens. I know it sounds crazy but it’s true. If you don’t know what I’m talking about I encourage to just give it a try sometime. His invitation is open, why not try Him out?

“Be still, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10, ESV)

2013-new-year Here we are, the dawn of a new year. As I sit and reflect on the past year so many things come to mind. I am in my reading chair with a cup of coffee, my Bible and a few other books for devotional reading, and my MacBook. Everyone else is asleep and, for now, the house is quiet. This is a very familiar and comfortable place for me. It’s where I come to personally meet with God and begin each day and where I spend much time studying. I like things to be comfortable and familiar and I’m especially enjoying it this morning because I’ve missed it for the past week. You see, I’ve been on an adventure.

I set out last week to go on a mission trip but evidently God had other plans. The details aren’t important but through a series of events it became evident to my wife and I that God didn’t intend for us to go and instead we were able to spend several days with family and see some old friends. It was an unexpected opportunity for us to rest a little, get recharged, and even be inspired for another year of ministry. It was unplanned but it was good.

jump-for-joySo now, as I sit here, a year older (literally, today is both mine and my wife’s birthday) and hopefully a little wiser, and reflect on the past year and contemplate the new one I am feeling both thankful and hopeful. I am filled with a strong sense of God’s presence and I know that He is very much alive and active in my life, in the lives of my family and friends, and in the life of my church. The past year, like the past week, was filled with trials and triumphs. There were times of disappointment and worry but there were also opportunities and blessings. God really does  take our sorrow, fear, and failure and turn it into joy, faith, and victory. He makes all things new.

I have no idea what the new year holds but I do know this: with God, every door closed leads to another one opened, every disappointment is an opportunity for something greater, every fear is a lesson in faith, every tear can be turned from sorrow to joy, and every failure can be a step towards victory. God is good like that.

Let me leave you with these words from someone who understood all of this very well, the apostle Paul:

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2Corinthians 5:17, ESV)

The first thing God wants to make new is each of us, and He does that through a relationship with Jesus Christ. I can promise you, it’s an adventure! Are you ready for a new year and a new adventure? I am.

Happy New Year, Paul

New-Adventures-Await