i’m old

i don’t write anymore. maybe it’s because we have a 2 year old who takes up 99% of my time (the other 1% is for Jesus and my wife)…. Don’t judge, when you have a kid, you’ll understand……. wow.. I’m that guy now…. I used to hate to hear “when you have a kid, you’ll understand”… but now, that’s me… I understand. It’s sad. Well….. She’s crying

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Praying Like You’re Holy

Maybe I’m alone in this but sometimes I question the way I pray. I’ll say things to God that I would never say to a person. Sometimes I speak in a soft and wimpy tone but other times I’ll get fired up like a warrior. I I’ll used words like “Father God” every second as if He doesn’t already know I’m speaking to Him. I even find myself using words like “fleshly”, “service” and “nourishment”. I used to credit the strange language as “holy talk” or “this is how you speak to God”. However, over the past few years I’ve become more aware of strange this language was.

The upcoming Christian generation is well aware that this “christianese” language is awkward in conversations but we still have a tendency to resort back to it when talking to God. In other words, you would see me saying “what a glorious day God has given us” but when I pray I might say something like, “Dear Lord, thank You for a glorious, wonderful, marvelous day!”. Why do we do that? Doesn’t the Lord speak our language? Do we really need to speak to Him like we’re, dare I say, “holy”?

There’s a few verses in the Bible (notice I didn’t say “scriptures”) That I’d like to share. It might help you realize what I’ve discovered over the past few years.

Matthew 6:5
“When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get.

Well hey, I do that sometimes. I’m a pastor so I’m expected to pray in front of people regularly. Obviously I need to fulfill my job requirements but the way I do it can be improved. See, I really don’t need to use “holy” language when I pray in front of people because I can be myself. By using religious words I’m sending a hidden agenda, that I’m religious. I really don’t desire that but sometimes my public prayer sends a different message. Something I need to work on.

Another verse I found helpful during this discover is;

Matthew 6:16
“When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.

This can also apply to praying. Am I really upset? Is my tone genuine? Sometimes we pray like we’re on the verge of tears. Heck. I’m not saying don’t cry when you pray! Just be genuine when you pray! Don’t put on a show for everyone so they know you’re serious.

In the end we need to just be ourselves. I’ve made it a habit to pray during the day in a “conversational” way. For example; “I’m dying here. I need you to help me out because I’m about to wring that persons neck!”.. He’s God. He doesn’t need you to put on a show. I realize you can’t really apply that example to a public prayer but that’s still not an excuse to get “holier than thou” on everyone.
Many people in the bible had conversations with God. So if you’re still struggling with this topic, just remember….
Pray like you’re having a conversation with God.

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so I guess I’m selfish.

Great news! My beautiful wife is pregnant! This is our first child and we have affectionately name it “Pierogi” for the time being. (I’m Polish and I happen to love food)
This is exciting and it’s incredibly nerve racking. I say nerve racking because of the scary comments I get from parents. For example; “When that baby comes out you’ll realize how selfish you really are!”. Wow.. that’s quite a comment and let me tell ya, it doesn’t make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside (brownies do).

Is that true? Will I suddenly realize how selfish I am? As soon as the baby is out will I be opened to this bazaar revelation that I’m a selfish, thoughtless, mean spirited loser? I’d have to say no.
Truth is.. I already know that…..
I’ve known that for a while actually and I’m working on it.
So little Pierogi.. When you’re old enough to read this.. Just remember. I’m a knuckle-head and your mother and I made a conscious decision to have you. Knowing fully what that meant for our social lives and sleep patterns. If that makes me selfish.. I’m sorry..

I believe planning and having a baby is the most UNSELFISH thing you can ever do…

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Speaking In Tongues

Reasons why I speak in tongues when I pray.

1. so I believe that when I don’t know what to say. I speak in tongues. because God understands my heart. it’s a great way to grow closer to him.

Romans 8:26-27
26 And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. 27 And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers[a] in harmony with God’s own will.

here’s another one

1 Corinthians 14:2 (New Living Translation)
“For if you have the ability to speak in tongues,[a] you will be talking only to God, since people won’t be able to understand you. You will be speaking by the power of the Spirit, but it will all be mysterious.”

2. I believe speaking in tongues praises God
Acts 10:46
“For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God.”

3. I believe it builds our faith when we pray in the holy spirit
Jude 1:20
But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit.

Some people use this next verse to say we shouldn’t do it at all…
1 Corinthians 14:28
But if no one is present who can interpret, they must be silent in your church meeting and speak in tongues to God privately.”

—You need to understand the context of that verse.. That message saying that you must have an interpreter was to the disciples when they were messaging to the other religions and the non-Christians in the bible to have more proof that God was real, and he was living in them…
some people don’t know the context.. they think it means in church functions. but it was really gatherings people where having when they ministered to the non-Christians..

4.Lets look at 1 Corinthians 14:4-5
“A person who speaks in tongues is strengthened personally, but one who speaks a word of prophecy strengthens the entire church.
I wish you could all speak in tongues, but even more I wish you could all prophesy. For prophecy is greater than speaking in tongues, unless someone interprets what you are saying so that the whole church will be strengthened.”

—so it’s clear that speaking in tongues is for us…. Paul wished that we all would.. but he also knew that some would have an issue with it.. I don’t think you have to do it in order to be a christian. but I think it helps you for sure! and I’ll say what Paul said. I wish you could all speak in tongues! but even more, I wish you could all prophesy!!! =)

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Our Focus

My wife and I have the pleasure of  owning a Boston Terrier named “Mason”. Everyday I come home from work he greets me with a chewed up, pink rubber ring. He obviously wants to play fetch. I swear. I can throw that disgusting toy 100 times and he’ll never get sick of it. It’s all he lives for!  But today I started to observe him as he chased after the ring bouncing through the living room and brought it back to my lap. Usually I’m busy watching tv or creeping on facebook but this time I sat and watched him. All that dog is focusing on is that toy. He’ll sit in front of me for minutes at at time staring at it. Once I finally give in and throw it he will literally growl at it and hunt it down like a lion chasing it’s prey. Mason has a focus and his focus is that ring.

In the Christian faith, everyone has a focus. However, I don’t believe we’re aware of what that focus is. For example; When you decided to accept Jesus into your life did you do it because you were afraid of not entering heaven? Maybe. I think the vast majority of Christians enter faith based on a fear of what eternity will hold. If that’s still your focus I believe you need to realign your thoughts and emotions. Or maybe you’re a Christian because you don’t want to sin anymore. Maybe your focus is on doing things to please God… Again, if that’s your focus I believe you need to change some things.

I believe heaven exists and of course I believe sin is a deadly trap but if we’re only living day by day with a focus of “not sinning” I think we’ve missed the point.

I watched a video today of a gentlemen preaching fire and brimstone on fellow Christians. I agreed with a majority of what he was saying but he kept saying things like “if you’re living in sin you will burn for eternity”. I started to wonder where his focus was. Don’t get me wrong.. I believe when the Bible says the penalty of sin is death but death from what exactly?

I believe that true death would be a life without the presence of God. It scares me more than anything because I’ve experienced it. You feel empty, lost and confused. Nothing makes sense. Sin is a terrible thing that blocks us from having a relationship with God. It’s a like a concrete wall.

If our focus is only on the afterlife we’re missing what Jesus said to pray for! “On earth as it is in Heaven”… If we’re only focusing on heaven AFTER earth.. We’re wasting our time! I love Matthew 6:33!! It says “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”
Everything I need? All I need to focus on is the Kingdom of God….Wow.. This sounds a lot better than trying to NOT sin.

2 Timothy 2:22 is one of my favorite verses. It keeps the focus off of ” trying to not sin”… It says ‘Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.” The key word is PURSUE! LEt’s pursue the kingdom of God. Let’s pursue righteous living.

Psalm 27:8….”You have said, “Seek my face.” My heart says to you, “Your face, LORD, do I seek.” you PURSUE Him.”

LET’S FOCUS ON HIM! Don’t focus on the after life. Don’t focus on trying to be good!

When we focus on Him.. We’re allowing God to use us here on this earth for his purpose. That’s when we see “On earth as it is in heaven”. That’s when the world see’s Jesus. That’s when things change in our culture! When we focus on Him!

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The Little Foxes

Catch all the foxes, those little foxes, before they ruin the vineyard of love, for the grapevines are blossoming! Song Of Songs 2:15

We fight about the little differences we have.
I guess I’m a little surprised that we’re still dealing with this. We’re still arguing about differences. We’re still condemning each other..  While the world is hurting for answers. We’re fighting over the silliest of things.

Let’s catch the foxes! Let’s arrest our critical attitudes and spread the hope we have in Jesus.

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At first I thought this was some dudes following a black man… but after further investigation i notices that there’s a leg and a sandal on the right hand side…. Jesus? Or could it possibly be a foxy lady? Considering the attire worn in this… I might lean towards the latter.

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