Lets Meet Up and Pray!

Hey Twitter, Facebook, and Blog friends in Ireland and the UK!

I have an idea. I’m going to be in Ireland in May and I’d love to meet up with you and pray for God to move across Western Europe.

On Thursday, May 26th at 3:30pm, let’s meet on the Hill of Slane at the old Slane Abbey in County Meath to meet each other in person and pray. The Hill of Slane is a place of significant Christian history as it was the place where Saint Patrick lit his early paschal fire to let the High King of Tara know that Christianity is coming to Ireland. The Hill is accessible by car and there is parking, even though the map looks a bit different. Just take the narrow Abbey View Road up the hill to the abbey. You can see it on Google Maps here. Switch to satellite view to see it better. What a great opportunity to cover Ireland in prayer just one day before the Slane music festival!

So what do you say? Are you up for it? You can RSVP in the comments and we’ll put it together. What an awesome chance to cry out to God in a beautiful setting and connect with friends we’ve never met!

Slane Abbey

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The Problem With Pleasure

Pleasure.  Even the word is rather… pleasurable.  We love pleasure.  We enjoy that delight, that state of gratification we find ourselves in when something really pleases us.  We are, after all, pleasure seeking creatures and we’ll go to great lengths to experience it.

From sex to sunsets, chocolate to sea cruises, we spend most of our lives (and a great deal of money) on sensual satisfaction.  Even when our lives are over, our coffins are made to be soft, comfy, and cozy so that our corpses have a nice pleasant little box to decay in.  I know that’s rather morbid, but we really do live and die for pleasure.

My pleasure?  I have a penchant for sweets.  Anyone who knows me well can tell you I know the Nestle’s Toll House cookie recipe by heart.  I love to snack on the dough while I’m making those delicious chocolate chip cookies and often use the excuse “They’re only fresh once!” to eat two or three extra while trying to make my glass of milk last.  And don’t even get me started on warm, gooey brownies (no nuts please)!

Psalm 34:8 says, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” I love the picture this paints.  We can take pleasure in knowing Jesus.  I’ve found from experience that this is true.  As I spend time with Him, I find it really enjoyable.  I experience peace in the middle of stressful circumstances, focus when I’m distracted, and joy when I’m mentally and emotionally maxed out.

One interesting thing about pleasure is that it can be learned.  For example, I detested my first cup of coffee.  It tasted way too much like, well, coffee.  After a while, though, I learned to like it and, eventually, really enjoy it.  I like the aroma it gives, the richness of flavor, and the pick me up I get from the caffeine.  I can hardly pass Caribou without wanting to grab a tall drink!

The other interesting thing about pleasure is that it can be unlearned as well.  If I go for a few weeks without sweets, I actually stop craving them.  If I starve that part of my brain that craves chocolate, hot fudge, or Swedish Fish, I can easily pass them up without feeling the need to indulge.  I can even reach a point where I know longer receive pleasure from the things I love.

Which brings us back to Psalm 34:8.  Over the years, I’ve had the extreme displeasure of seeing some very good friends walk away from Jesus.  It’s massively heartbreaking to see them fall away.  I wonder how someone could possibly choose temporal pleasures over eternity with Jesus.

About a year ago, a dear friend walked away from Christ, his wife, and children because he found pleasure in the arms of a younger woman.  He explained to me how this younger woman made him feel so good and that he just wanted to be happy.  I used to challenge this man to spend time in prayer, to “taste and see” every day how wonderful Jesus is.  He could never bring himself to cultivate a devotional life because he took so much pleasure in reading the morning paper while watching the sun rise from his back porch.  He had starved that part of himself that longs for Christ until it became too easy pass Him by without a glance.

I think that’s why many people walk away from Jesus.  They’ve neglected “tasting and seeing” until their appetite for Him has simply withered away.  They’ve found pleasure in so many other things until there’s no more room at the table for Him.

I think we all need to do a little more “tasting”.  We all need to feed our craving for Christ.  It’s easy for days to turn into weeks, and weeks into months without prayer.  We need to starve off some pleasures to make room for the Ultimate Pleasure because nothing else compares!

“You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.” ~Psalm 16:11

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Tozer Tuesdays

Another edition of Tozer Tuesdays, prayers from his book The Pursuit of God They have profoundly impacted me and I hope they challenge and move you as you pray them too.

O God, be Thou exalted over my possessions.  Nothing of earth’s treasures shall seem dear unto me if only Thou art glorified in my life.  Be Thou exalted over my friendships.  I am determined that Thou shalt be above all, though I must stand deserted and alone in the midst of the earth.  Be Thou exalted over my comforts.  Though it mean the loss of bodily comforts and the carrying of heavy crosses, I shall keep my vow made this day before Thee.  Be Thou exalted over my reputation.  Make me ambitious to please Thee even if as a result I must sink into obscurity and my name be forgotten as a dream.  Rise, O Lord, into Thy proper place of honor, above my ambitions, above my likes and dislikes, above my family, my health and even my life itself.  Let me sink that Thou mayest rise above.  Ride forth upon me as Thou didst ride into Jerusalem mounted upon the humble little beast, a colt, the foal of an ass, and let me hear the children cry to Thee, “Hosanna in the highest.”


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It’s official. I’m exhausted.

The past several months have pushed me harder and brought on fatigue like I’ve never experience before. Between ministry, launching a business, going back to school, moving, and mega high levels of stress, I’m tuckered out!

I’m not talking about just being tired. Tired, I can handle. But this is a whole ‘nother ballgame.

If you’re not careful, exhaustion can make you drop your guard, say and do stupid things. It can tempt you to pray less and rely on your own abilities more. Exhaustion makes you impatient, messes up your priorities, and influences you to neglect what’s important in order to get it all done.

So what do you do when you’re exhausted like this? Here are some things I’m doing to help minimize the effects of exhaustion.

Dinner with the fam. I’m keeping this one sacred. It’s far too easy to neglect the wife and kids when the load is great. When it comes to the family, you have to have non-negotiables.

Prayer.  Prayer and scripture reading seem to be the first things to get shelved when schedules are busy.  But it really does help renew a tired mind, body, and spirit.  Psalm 23 tells us that God refreshes our soul.  Sometimes, when you have a million things to do, the most productive thing you can do is pray.

Stillness.  Who has time to sit and be still for a couple minutes?  You’ll just have to make time.  Listen to a relaxing song, close your eyes, put down your phone, and just unplug for a minute.  I like to listen to a little Ralph Vaughan Williams and close my eyes for a minute.  There’s nothing like spending a couple minutes in your Happy Place.

Fun.  Take the kids for ice cream, watch a comedy, play a game, read the comics.  Do something fun!  Sometimes we take so little time to do something genuinely fun that we forget how refreshing it can be.

Those are ways I’m learning to deal with exhaustion.  How about you?  How does exhaustion effect you and how do you deal with it?

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Tozer Tuesdays

Another edition of Tozer Tuesdays, prayers from his book The Pursuit of God They have profoundly impacted me and I hope they challenge and move you as you pray them too.

O Lord, I have heard a good word inviting me to look away to Thee and be satisfied.  My heart longs to respond, but sin has clouded my vision till I see Thee but dimly.  Be pleased to cleanse me in Thine own precious blood, and make me inwardly pure, so that I may with unveiled eyes gaze upon Thee all the days of my earthly pilgrimage.  Then shall I be prepared to behold Thee in full splendor in the day when Thou shalt appear to be glorified in Thy saints and admired in all them that believe.


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Tozer Tuesdays

Another edition of Tozer Tuesdays, prayers from his book The Pursuit of God They have profoundly impacted me and I hope they challenge and move you as you pray them too.

Lord, teach me to listen.  The times are noisy and my ears are weary with the thousand raucous sounds which continuously assault them.  Give me the spirit of the boy Samuel when he said to Thee, “Speak, for Thy servant heareth.”  Let me hear thee speaking in my heart.  Let me get used to the sound of Thy voice, that it’s tones may be familiar when the sounds of earth die away and the only sound will be the music of Thy speaking voice.


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