Why is it that when we go on retreats it is always to rural areas? We always go out into the country to meet and hear from God, but why don’t we ever retreat in urban contexts? Can’t we also take time to intentionally dwell in the city to hear God? Does God only speak to us when we go to less populated and less developed spaces? Or is it just a Christian bias that we all have bought into…
Maybe instead of retreating from the city we could actually retreat to the city. There might actually be some advantages to retreating in the urban context! What can God teach us in the midst of all the hustle and bustle of life? How might we see Jesus anew surrounded by poor and systemically oppressed people? How might God shape and transform His people in the urban setting? What could an individual or communities time look like as they seek God submerged in the hood? I would love to hear your thoughts and perspectives on this. Freestyle with me…
The amount of hours that the average person consumes media and communication through TV, Computer/Internet, Mp3’s, radio, and cell phones are astronomical. Many teens express that their social lives would end if they no longer had their phones. Most of us feel that we NEED these things and can’t go with out them. If we were to leave the house and drive for 20 minutes and then realize that we forgot our phone at home, most of us would turn back around to get it. Media and technology are a 24/7 constant part of many of our lives. The unconscious motto many live by is “media and technology without ceasing”.
If we were to leave the house without communion with God, would we turn around to correct the situation. Is God a life line that we can not go without. Do you feel like you NEED constant communication with God? The apostle Paul calls us to “pray without ceasing”. It is the constant awareness and communion with God everywhere we go. What connection is most important for you, staying connected with technology and media or staying connected with God who is the only source of life-giving sustenance?
How are you balancing your life in the midst of Facebook, texting, farmville, wikipedia, google, skype, TV, Ipod, netflix, and your free mobile to mobile calling plan? Freestyle with me…
In the midst of confusion, famine, drought, and struggle, while located in what seemed to be the most unfruitful place one could find themselves God commanded the Levites to pray this prayer of blessing over the Israelites. If you are in your own wilderness right now, this might be a timely blessing from God.
“The Lord spoke to Moses: “Tell Aaron and his sons, ‘This is the way you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them:
“The Lord bless you and protect you;
The Lord make his face to shine upon you,
and be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up his countenance upon you
and give you peace.”’
So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.”
(NET Bible® – Numbers 6:22-27)
Go head and read it over slowly a few times and let the words settle. If you so desire, freestyle with me on God’s blessings in the midst of the wilderness.
“This, then, is how you should pray,
‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.”
One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” (Luke 11:1)
There are so many things we could learn from the Master. We could learn how to love, to die to oneself, to show mercy, to offer restoration, and much more from our Teacher. However when the disciples pulled up their desks, grabbed the notebooks from their backpacks, as well as some #4 pencils, they decided to enroll in Jesus’ School of Prayer 101. They did not ask how to turn water in to wine, how to do that feeding the five thousand trick, no they wanted Jesus to teach them how to pray. Are you enrolled in Jesus’ School of Prayer? And if so what are you learning? Freestyle with me…