make sure you answer. God first called Samuel’s name when he was a young boy. It changed everything for everyone around. Samuel listened for God all of his life and had an incredible journey from anointing kings to advising them. Again, this is a drawing based on work by photography by James C Lewis.
I remember it was in between the first and second service
when the worship pastor pulled out a flip chart in the center of the worship
team. It was not what I was expecting. Normally we do this thing where everyone
checks in and tells what God is doing in their life.
He said to us, he wanted to do something a little different
because he cared about our relationship with God.
He drew a circle. He placed an x inside the circle. He
placed another one outside the circle.
He said many people do church like this.
The X on the inside represented people who came to church regular.
Served and participated. They were doing good works. They were checking things
off the list of the things they had been taught to do.
People on the outside of the circle were not into serving or
coming every time the church was open. They were not considered one of the
in-crowd people. They were thought to be far away from God.
On the other side he wrote God. He put an x close, then one
far away. He drew arrows pointing the x toward God. He said it is not so much
that we are serving but serving is good. He asked are you doing what you are
doing with a heart for Jesus or checking things off a list?
He asked if we had a heart for the things God has a heart
for. It was more than coming to church every Sunday. It was more than serving
and giving. It was about what kind of heart do we have for God. What heart motives
our relationship with God?
He challenged us to check our heart’s motives. Is our life
and service drawing us closer to God?
As a result, I have been asking God about my heart towards
Him. He has been answering. I have found him in places I wouldn’t have under
ordinary circumstances. In revisiting old things, He has shown me Himself in a
This past week, I watched the movie Paul, the Apostle of Christ again. One thing this movie does well
for me, is shows how to love in a hard space. Watching Christians being burned
alive or sent to face wild animal attacks in Nero’s circus reminded me that
true Christians never have it easy. Yet
what absolutely sold me was the word of God being an active participant.
Now the only thing that changed in my second viewing of this
film is me. I watched as Paul continued to stress this love. I still don’t
understand it, but I know it is important to God.
My challenge to you is that there is something stirring deep
within you. Ask the Holy Spirit to change your heart for Him. God has promised that his love is longer,
deeper, wider, and much higher than anything we can imagine. There have been
moments this week His love has taken me into the stratosphere. There have been some moments when it just
wrecked me. His love is great.
I double dog dare you to ask God to show you His love.
James C Lewis, an international photographer, created a series
of images of people from the Bible. I
was inspired by his images and have drawn the ones that I like the most. This
month we will turn back time follow some of mt favorite bible people. The first
one is Jesus.
Remember that maps are designed to tell where things are. A map gives you an idea of the distance between one thing and another. It also tells you of all the possibilities.
Color in the spaces on your map by putting your feet into action. Go places and learn what it has to offer. One of the things I love about traveling the US is the rich history of each location. Every place has it’s own story to tell.
Part of this journey is making those stories your own. I still have 15 states out of the 50 to see visit. Many of those states are in the great northwest. I look forward to the adventure.
When you are going somewhere, map something out so that you will have a sense of where you are going. A map will give you a landscape of what you will encounter on the way so that there are no big surprises. It will also tell you how you will travel and how much ground you will cover.
When I start fleshing out an idea, I map it out. Since I am a visual person, there are little shapes here that hold small ideas and big shapes there that hold big ideas. The whole thing will become my response to the journey that I am on.
Your map doesn’t have to look like everyone else. It just has to tell you the information you need when you need it. It can be a representation of items to remind you what you need to do.
It can show where you start and how far you have gone. It will give you a visual representation of your journey also reminding you of what you have been through. Sometimes at the end of the year, we review our progress and it doesn’t seem like we have done much. It may seem like we stay in the same place for a long time, but we forget about the times we go up high mountains or down to deep valleys. We should account for those times and think about what we learned in the process.
One of my favorite places has more than 100 museums which are free to visit. It reminds me of what we have accomplished as a nation and some things we need to do better. It is one of the most powerful cities on the planet but it is still open to visitors.
It can majestic, beautiful and inspiring. It can be scary, unfriendly and confusing. Washington DC is lots of things to lots of people.
According to Fodor, don’t rent a car or grab a taxi. The travel site suggests you use public transit, like the Metro. I am a fan of the Metro and use it whenever I am in town. But don’t get so attached to the transit system that you forget to look at a map.
One time my friends left an hour before me to get to the museum by train. My ten-minute walk across the Mall got me there when they exited the train station. It is a great city to experience on foot.
When you go make sure you plan a visit to the White House. This is something you have to do in advance, but it is worth it. There are many rules and high security, but to walk through history is the result. One year we went during Christmas which they allowed us to take our phones and take photos. It was an amazing experience.
There are lots of places to visit in this city and you will not get to most in one visit. Yet for me, the historical points keep me coming back. A visit to Ben’s Chili Bowl or to walk through the campus of Howard University inspires me.
For me, DC is like a good book with chapter after chapter. It never ends. There is always something more interesting to see.