Tuesday, May 31, 2011

15 Minutes to Live

I decided to take a 30 day challenge to write through the inspiration of words written by Ralph Waldo Emerson. This is a challenge that I heard about through The Domino Project, a group founded by Seth Godin.

We are afraid of truth, afraid of fortune, afraid of death, and afraid of each other.

Our age yields no great and perfect persons. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Writing task for Day 1:

You just discovered you have fifteen minutes to live.

Below are my thoughts, rather questions, about my last 15 minutes alive:

Would I look for ways to increase my legacy?

Would I run to connect with those I love the most?

If a disaster is quickly approaching would I work to save others?

Or would I love to save myself?

Would I be freaked out?

Would I pray?

Would I cry?

Would I be of sound mind to embrace and be with my wife for the entire 15 minutes?

Would I call my daughters?

Could I?

Would I be at peace?

Would I examine my past?

Would I be happy?

Would I be sad?

Would I focus on missed opportunities?

Would I relish the achievements?

Would I consider my future?




Forever with my creator

Or, total separation

Would I care about the stranger?

Would I share my faith?

Would I have time for experiences?


The beach

The mountains

A walk

Would I express my gratitude?

Thank God

Thank my wife and family

Thank my parents

Thank those closest to me

Thank my acquaintances

Thank my adversaries

Would I notice my breathing?

Each inhale

Followed by each exhale

As if it were my last breath

Would I be happy?

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Samaritan Woman at the Well: allegory?

I get up early every morning before I go to work and I start my day with a delicious cup of coffee (ok a couple!). It is an awesome way to wake up. The house is quiet, no one else is awake. It is at this time that I enjoy thinking and reading and praying.

So as I was thinking fairly random thoughts, the prophets of the Bible came to mind. Their mission or calling was to proclaim the actual Word of God to a nation (specifically to the leadership of the nation) that they were being unfaithful. At times the nation is called a prostitute and a whore.

One of the most preached passages of scripture that I have heard is from John 4: The Samaritan Woman at the Well. It is a message filled with truth and helps us get a picture of the nature of Jesus.

Here are my thoughts that came to mind as I considered the Old Testament Prophets and the story of The Samaritan Woman at the Well.

Maybe the store of Jesus’ interaction with the Samaritan woman was more allegory that an actual event that happened. I know that many are mad at me already!

Why would Jesus stop in this Samaritan village. According to the many times I have heard this passage, a good Rabbi would avoid Samaria like it carried a plague. Why would Jesus want to stop off on this evil, corrupt and sinful planet?

The woman is said to have had many husbands (she is unfaithful). Some say that she was nothing less than a prostitute or a whore.

Maybe the 5 husbands represent the many alliances that Israel has had with foreign nations, their alliance is no longer with God. And she is told that the man she is living with is not her husband. Could this “husband” be the alliance that many Jewish leaders were enjoying with Rome? How faithful are we? What nations or things do we have an alliance with?

Are we unfaithful? Could we be considered nothing less than a prostitute or a whore?

Why would God want to be with us, why would a Jewish Rabbi want to be with Samaritans?

Maybe the place and the way we worship is just as wrong as the Samaritans. Real worship has yet to be revealed, to the Samaritan, the Jew or the Christian.

The message of salvation, the cup of living water, is offered to the Samaritans, the Jews and to everyone willing to take it.

And for a period of time the Son of God stayed in the Samaritan village. Jesus stayed with us for a period of time.

Now to do the research and see where my thoughts line up with scholars much smarter than me. What are your thoughts?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Post "Judgement Day" Prayer

So today maybe we should be praying for lives disrupted by a guy who misled them into believing yesterday would be Judgement Day. Many people selling everything willing to spread a false warning. We heard you, we saw you. Now we pray for you!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Margaret Feinberg's Latest Book

One of my favorite authors of Christian devotionals is Margaret Feinberg. The books go a bit further than most devotionals. They are not feel good stories, although you do feel better after reading them. They are not the cutesy stories that you would expect from "Chicken Book for the Soul." Her books lead us into a discovery of God working in our lives, here and now. She is an awesome story teller and she writes like you are talking to a friend.

I have read three of her past books: Organic God, The Sacred Echo and Scouting the Divine. They were all great reads. The way you know that I enjoyed the book is that I lend them out and give them as gifts. The elders at one church I worked each received a copy of The Sacred Echo. They enjoyed it so much that many of them bought her other books.

Her latest book, Hungry for God, is being released this week. Margaret sent me an email with an excerpt from the book. I liked it so much I felt led to share it. I have a new item added to my wish list from Amazon: Hungry for God!

What Does it Mean to Hunger for God? (An adaptation from Hungry for God by Margaret Feinberg)

I don’t know anything about real hunger. While billions suffer in starvation and poverty, I live behind the plush curtain. Yet hunger is woven into the fabric of our humanness—no matter where you live. Appetite is a primitive desire that doesn’t discriminate. Every human has felt its pangs. Without an appetite, we slip into starvation and even death. Hunger is the gnawing reminder that in order to have strength, we must have sustenance.

If physical hunger is a set of feelings focused around the stomach that lead a person to search for food, then spiritual hunger is a set of experiences or longings that compel a person to search for God. Just as my body needs food to survive, my spirit needs God to thrive. A divine appetite drives me to pursue a vibrant relationship with God—one in which I find my sustenance and strength.

Unlike physical hunger, which can be satiated by food, our spiritual appetites can only be quelled by God. But is it possible to dine on an intangible being? How do we feast upon something we cannot see, touch, or taste? Over the last several years, I’ve learned that God’s voice is the only entrĂ©e that can nourish our ethereal cravings. Hearing and experiencing, rather than eating, assuages spiritual hunger.

The moments in my life when I’ve been the most spiritually hungry and the most spiritually satiated share a common trait: God’s voice. My spiritual hunger grumbles loudest when I feel furthest from God. Though I cling to the mental assertion that God is everywhere and he promises to never leave nor forsake, I’ve encountered days, weeks, and months, where I still wonder, Where are you, God?

I long for a single word to appease my spiritual belly. When God finally breaks the silence, the sound of his voice is spiritual nourishment, his voice a banquet for my soul—every syllable a tasty morsel, every expression flavored with love.

Longing to know him.
Longing to experience him.
Longing to hear him.
Is that what it means to hunger for God?

You can learn more about Hungry for God at Amazon. Become a follower of Margaret Feinberg on Twitter and become a Fan on Facebook.