Friday, July 22, 2011

A Chosen Lifestyle, Part III

A Man's Strength
Men seem to be obsessed with strength.

From health magazines to action figures, muscle is often the measure of a man.  We want to “appear” strong even if we are not.  Among many men weakness is a source of shame and never admitted.

But strength needs to be renewed and the Christian man understands that true strength is spiritual.

We need to renew our emotional, spiritual and physical strength. 

Renewal is one reason to observe the principle of the Sabbath.  I’m not talking about worshipping on Saturday but having one day during the week for rest.

This day of rest isn’t simply about sleep, but worshipping God and enjoying healthy recreation.  Consecrating a day (or a solid block of hours) for rest helps us to lead balanced lives.

A balanced life honors God.  It keeps us from becoming workaholics, forces us to slow down to make sure our priorities are in the right order.

I find rest and renwal being with my family and seeing them smile.
Much like the principals behind tithes and offerings, a day of rest helps keep us free from stress, anxiety or slavery to the world system.

The Sabbath Principle helps us to keep Christ at the center and to rely on the strength of God.

I include three other key areas for a man’s strength:
Regular exercise: You need to spend energy in order to stay energized.
A man’s diet (including fasting): Jesus expected us to fast.  It is also very important to have healthy eating habits.
Simplicity: Overspending and debt create stress.  We can give to church and charity and still be slaves to materialism.  Learn to live a simple life so you’ll be stress free and free to be generous.

These first two parts of “The Framework for a Chosen Lifestyle", a man’s heart and strength, is the foundation for who we are in spirit, mind and body. 

What are your thoughts?

What spiritual disciplines/practices fit you best?

What books besides the Bible have helped you to grow in your relationship to God?

How do you guard your time?

How do you renew your physical strength?

Please share your thoughts below.

Your brother,

Minister Onorio

Monday, July 18, 2011

Inspired to Worship

Overwhelmed by the Weight

What inspires you to worship?

Is it the beauty of a sunrise?  Is it a particular song?

My children have led me to prayer and worship in so many ways and for so many reasons.

Responsible for Greatness

When I consider my role as a father I instantly feel overwhelmed by the weight of the responsibility.

Our children are not only “ours.”  They belong to God.  Our children don’t just look like us.  Our sons and daughters are made in the image of God.

So I pray.  I ask for a wise and understanding heart.  I pray for God’s eyes to see my children.  Their potential is incredible.  And I pray to cooperate with the Spirit to bring the best out of my children.

My children are young but I’m not going to wait until they are under peer pressure or rebelling to pray. 
I need God right now in order to lay a solid spiritual, intellectual and emotional foundation.

In Awe of God
I’ve always been in awe of beauty.  The beauty of a poem or the blue sky has often filled me with reverence for God.  Our Father has given me eyes to be in awe of the beauty and wonder of my children.

I’ve learned to worship God while holding them, feeding them or cleaning them up.  My children have repeatedly intruded and changed my devotional life.  Most of the change is because they don’t sleep at night.  But no matter how early I wake up to pray my children always find a way onto my lap.

So I worship God in song, in stillness, and in holding and laughing with my children.

Prayer and worship are part of my lifestyle with my children.  We don’t just pray when I’m tucking them into bed.  Prayer is part of my conversation and relationship with my children.  I’m grateful for God working that in my heart. 

I share this as a prayer for fathers (and mothers).  I pray that you would be humbled by the revelation of your responsibility and run after God.  I pray that you would see the handiwork of the Creator in their faces and be in awe of your Heavenly Father.

Thank you for reading this meditation.  Hope you feel me.

And please feel free to share your thoughts.

Your brother,

Minister Onorio

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