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Meditation belongs to the Rock of Ages not the New Age

When you hear the word meditation what comes to mind? Do you picture some Yogi sitting in “the full lotus position” (an eastern variation of criss-cross apple sauce)? Do you think of an old wise oriental man with a long beard who refers to his students as grasshoppers? Or let me ask you a more direct question: who invented meditation? The Origin of Meditation The origin of something is important. If meditation has its roots in dark arts or the occult then we should steer clear of it. But if the origin is in God then we should embrace it and understand its purpose. Then we can meditate better than any swami or yogi could ever hope to! So lets take a look at the Bible to see when meditation was first mentioned. The Patriarch Meditates Isaac was born in 1,901 B.C. (that’s 3,912 years ago) and the first mention of meditation in scripture is when he goes to meditate in the field (Genesis 24:63): “And Isaac went out to meditate in the field in the evening; and he lifted his eyes and looked, and there, the camels were coming.” Here we have an account of one of the Patriarch’s meditating and this occurred over 3,500 years ago. This means God’s children were in the business of meditating long before the fads of New age meditation. We can put it like this, “God’s people were meditating while the New Agers were still in diapers.” So what happened? Why don’t we think of the Church and Christians when we hear the word meditation? Could it be because the enemy has...

Don’t be so heavenly minded that you’re no earthly good…Really?!

A popular cliché in the church is, “don’t be so heavenly minded that you’re no earthly good.” I’ve never liked that saying because when I read the Bible I am instructed to “set my mind on things above and not on things on the earth.” We need to intentionally set our gaze on heaven. We don’t need to worry about being too heavenly minded because most of us naturally think about earthly things. Think about it. In the last 24 hours were your thoughts filled with things found in list one or two? List One – Earthly Things: Bills, money, debt, or budgets. Work, tasks, to-do lists, emails, voice-mails, etc. Doing the dishes, laundry, grocery shopping, and dinner plans. List Two – Heavenly Things: The Kingdom of God and His righteousness. The Word of God. Angels, the Throne Room, the reality of Heaven. Some Clichés We Should Just Throw Out I don’t know what you have been thinking about but most of my thoughts were list one type and no one had to remind me to be earthly minded. Some clichés contain truth and would serve us well if we really believed and acted upon them. But this cliché on the other hand, “don’t be so heavenly minded that you’re no earthly good,” does not encourage us in the truth and we would be better not to obey it. It does not help us accomplish the goal of “on Earth as it is in Heaven” but instead helps us with our “on Earth as it is in Church” busy work. C.S Lewis wrote, “If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most...

Dry Seasons – What Are You Going To Do?

Have you ever gone through a “dry season” and wanted to know how to get out of it? For those unfamiliar with this term, a dry season is another way of saying “I don’t feel close to God and joy is lacking in my life.” I think we’ve all been there. It feels like we’re in a long distance relationship with God and we are the most unspiritual person on the planet. During these times should we just wait for the rain or can we do something to get out of this funk? But I don’t feel like it The hardest thing about being in a “dry season” is the fact that you don’t feel like doing anything else except possibly sulking and complaining. Emotions are real and have a tendency to override reason. Reason may tell you to call your friend and let him know that you’re having a hard time. But if you’re depressed a phone suddenly feels like it weighs 500lbs and just the thought of calling your friend can be overwhelming. So a key here is training yourself to do the things you know you should do even when don’t feel like it. The other night I was in one of these funks and all I felt like doing was sleeping, sulking and complaining. But my wife wouldn’t let me do that. She made me play racquetball. And then asked me what was wrong and what I planned to do about it. When she asked me that I realized that I wasn’t planning to do anything about it – except continue to be miserable. I could sense that my...

How to Master the English Bible

It’s a new year and the time where many Bible students embark on the ever so popular “read-the-Bible-in-a-year” journey. I think having a Bible reading plan is a good idea but I wasn’t too keen on doing the normal one-year-plan so I started searching for what would work best for me. This post by Justin Taylor has just about every Bible reading plan available and is a great resource. The plan I decided on for this year comes from one of the most famous Bible teachers of the 20th century, James Gray. He wrote a book in 1904 called How to Master the English Bible, which is intended to teach students to master the Bible, not just study it. Here is the four step process he outlines: 1. Choose a book of the Bible. 2. Read it in its entirety. 3. Repeat step #2 twenty times. 4. Repeat this process for all books of the Bible I’m thinking about adjusting this process to only reading each book ten times instead of twenty but we’ll see (hopefully I don’t short circuit the whole “mastery” part by only reading each book ten times). I’m starting with the book of John and thinking of doing Philippians next. I like this approach because of the focus it encourages and the fact that I get to read big chunks of the Bible instead of isolated chapters each day. But even more importantly is the fact that I am excited about it and so my motivation to read the Word has increased! If you want to read James Gray’s testimony related to this process here...

Do we really want to be known for our lack of Judgement?

Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? (1 Corinthians 6:2) Christians have been labeled as judgmental by the world and in an attempt to rid themselves of this disgraceful characteristic many have refused to judge anything. As Bill Johnson from Bethel Church says, Reaction to error usually produces error. Response to truth always wins out over those who react to error. Some people would have no belief system were it not for the error of others. Their thoughts and teachings are the antithesis of what others believe and practice. As a result those who strive for balance become anemic. The word balance has come to mean middle of the road—of no threat to people or the devil, with little risk, and above all…the best way to keep our nice image intact. As the church has reacted to the error of the critical spirit (aka being judgmental) we have consequently created another error – Passive Christianity. Passive Christianity Culture is important because it is the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes a people group. The enemy knows this therefore church culture is under constant attack. One of the strategies I believe the enemy uses is to attack holy boldness and our confidence in the truth. And one method of doing this is by offering a so called solution to being judgmental. This “solution” has spread like wildfire and now instead of being know as judgmental we are starting to be known as passive and weak....