Archive for February, 2010

The Lord’s Template

The Lord's TemplateWe’ve been examining Matthew 6:9-13 for the past few weeks when our church gathers. This passage is often referred to as “The Lord’s Prayer” but better titles are “The Model Prayer” or “The Disciple’s Prayer.”

We were listening to the Spirit speak through the God’s Word and one another when someone laughing used the phrase, “The Lord’s Template.” Since a template is a generic model or pattern, we decided to use that phrase for the title of our study.

Look at the pronouns . . .

One of the things we discovered in this template is that the only singular pronoun in this prayer is in reference to God –  your name / your kingdom / your will.

All the rest are plural. . .our / us / our / us / we /our / us / us

We share our lives with others

This prayer template prompts us that we share our lives with others. So, who are these people who turn our “my’s” into “our” and our “me’s” into “us”?

  • Friends and family
  • Coworkers and neighbors
  • Fellow Christ followers in my church and elsewhere
  • Strangers and acquaintances
  • Women and men
  • Young and old
  • People who are like me and those who are not
  • Those near and those far away

Make a list of at least 5 people in your life and pray using Matthew 6:9-13 as a template.

Grace and Peace,

Join the Conversation: How does prayer connect you to other people?

My One Another Community

My One Another CommunityGod has always lived in community—Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He has never been alone. The idea of community is not the invention of man or the product of society. It has its very root in the triune nature of God.

God’s Together Community

Jesus in His great mission of reconciliation from the Father established a new kind of community which he called the church. Jesus does something for that new community that only God can do. He indwells it and joins its members together by His Spirit.

In my journey towards simple church I am continuing to learn the value of community. I am learning that church is more than meetings and events. Church for me has become a way of practicing the “one another’s” of the New Testament.

Some Scriptural One Another’s

Here’s an idea. Bookmark this post, come back every day and follow the links to one of these scripture passages. Record the opportunities you had to practice these “one another’s” in your community of faith.

Grace and Peace,

Join the Conversation: Do you have a small group of friends that helps you practice these and other similar scriptural admonitions? How are you putting these practices into action in your life?

I need other people in my life.

I am not strong enough, or smart enough, or influential enough by myself. To fulfill the mission on which Christ sends me, I must be part of a group of fellow travelers. If I understand my Bible correctly, New Testament Christianity is always expressed in community.

Multiplication not Addition

Partnering with fellow believers does more than add to my efforts. It actually multiplies my effectiveness. I don’t waste my time when I meet with my simple church group. My time is compounded through connecting with them.

Being part of a basic Christian community . . .

  1. Makes me a better disciple
  2. Gives me a place to use my spiritual gifts effectively
  3. Allows me to practice the “one another’s” of scripture
  4. Supplies a place for me to be a disciplemaker
  5. Encourages me through the companionship of fellow travelers
  6. Increases my usefulness to others
  7. Compounds my influence in the mission of Christ

Choose one of the seven items above and make it your focus the next time you meet with your group of fellow believers.

Grace and Peace,

Join the Conversation: How God has multiplied your influence through your partnership with other believers?

Steak Dinner for Your Valentine

Valentine's Day SteakTomorrow is Valentine’s Day and there’s about a foot of snow on the ground. I want to cook a great steak for my special girl (that’s my wife Beth if you didn’t know) but don’t want to uncover the grill and stand outside in the cold.

But that’s OK because I plan to cook a great Rib Eye in the oven. I use Alton Brown’s pan seared Rib Eye method and it’s never failed me yet.

You’ll need:

  • a boneless rib eye steak about 1 1/2 inches thick
  • Canola or olive oil to coat the steak
  • Salt and black pepper
  • A cast iron skillet

You can find Alton’s method for cooking the steak here.

I’ll let you choose the sides, the ambiance and anything else you want to give your sweetie.


Grace and peace,

Try it and let me know how it went!

Praying With Your Feet

Here’s a great video about praying on the go.

Pray with Your Feet is 2:23 minutes long so fill your coffee cup and click your play button and let me know what you think.

You can find it and more at Recycle Your Faith. Here’s a little info from their site . . .

Short and compelling videos are posted every Monday at Each video encourages spiritual exploration through candid interviews, thought-provoking topics, and stories of people attempting to walk in the footsteps of Jesus…

Grace and Peace,

Join the Conversation: How would you respond to the questions Tim Soerens asks,

“What if I kept my eyes open more often? What if I took more walks? What if I read the paper more curiously, in such a way that I allowed myself to be entered into prayer really through the tension that I feel?”

Our Best Intercessors

I am so glad that we don’t send our children to a “back room” so the adults can study and pray without interruption. I rejoice that they are an active part of our time together.

One Sunday a young woman in our group shared a prayer need concerning her pregnancy. One of the mothers stated that she believed that we should gather around her and pray. The children were the first ones to her side and they were not silent as our prayers were lifted. The prayers that resounded most in the hearts of those present were those of the children. Their simple faith and trust in God encouraged us. Their love for this young woman suprred us on to love her more.

Find some time to spend in prayer with a child or a group of children. It will strengthen your faith and fill your heart with hope and joy.

Grace and Peace,

Join the Conversation: Do you have the opportunity to pray across generational lines?  If you do share a story with us about one of those times.