Tag: Tirzah

Adoration Devotions

Adoration Devotions

Adoration Devotions

As I focus on my one word for 2020 pursue and pursuing God more intentionally this year I’m revisiting different Bible study and prayer disciplines I’ve incorporated through the years beginning with adoration.

Growing up in the church you will likely learn a lot of catchy phrases that come to form a language of their own, but don’t make a lot of sense to people outside of the church. Additionally, because the lingo seems familiar to everyone around you, many times it can feel intimidating to ask for clarification if you don’t understand something as clearly as you perceive others around you may grasp. 

One of those phrases is the ACTS prayer:

Adoration: Praise God for who he is/For his character

Confession: Tell God about your personal sin and corporate sin, ask for forgiveness

Thanksgiving: Thank God for how he is present in our lives, what he has done and what he will do 

Supplication: Dialogue with God, ask for clarification and guidance about situations, pray about needs, wants, fears, joys.

The ACTS prayer is a catchy way to make sure that we have an order to our conversations with God, but they aren’t a requirement for prayer. Growing up I found this structure helpful, but I didn’t fully understand the difference between Adoration and Thanksgiving. 

Thankfully Sara Hagerty has taken the time clarify Adoration in detail. She also has a monthly adoration plan you can follow to help put this important prayer discipline into practice.

The Discipline of Adoration

Life is hard and often feels deeply unfair. In recent years documentation of depression is on the rise as well as teen suicide.There is no doubt that people are outrageously more cruel to each other with the ability to hide behind fake identites. Bolstered by the example of poor leadership that is justfied by those who call themselves moral, for many there doesn’t seem to be a safe place to turn for help. 

But God is always available to comfort his children. He loves to reveal his character to us when we ask, and he is unchanging so we can always trust him. Adoration reminds us God is our comforter. Consider Psalms 23.

Psalms 23

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
 he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
    for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

 You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
    forever.

Adoration Tools

I mentioned Sara Hagerty has a monthly guide. I’ve also found the book Adoration Prayer Book by Bob Hartley very helpful.  Hartley says “Adoration is the pattern we see in heaven! The Lord is surrounded by worship and adoration continually throughout all of eternity.”

If you haven’t included adoration in your journaling or prayer times maybe this is the month to give it a try!

Thanksgiving Reflections

Thanksgiving Reflections

Happy Thanksgiving - Thanksgiving Reflections 2019

There are so many things to be thankful for in 2019:

  • Our health
  • A new space to live in that we love
  • Great jobs we both enjoy (and new clients for Beth this year with smooth transitions yay!)
  • Our boys are doing well in school
  • Upcoming opportunities in 2020
  • A fun trip to see family in Colorado this past summer
  • A church we love where are all being challenged to seek the Lord

Mostly, this year when I reflect on 2019 as much as remember the bumps and frustrations when pressed to do so, what highlights this year is a calmness we haven’t experienced before.

A steadiness in our calendars allows for spontaneity, flexibility, and weekends that include rest almost every weekend. We’ve figured out a rhythm that includes caring for our physical, spiritual, emotional and mental health in a way that I never expected we would find.

The coaching life is a hustle and you learn to operate and function within that space, however that doesn’t mean it is best. Leaping off the hamster wheel of college football was a shock to the system and it took a little bit to find a new normal.

Throw in an unexpected move, transitioning a kid to high school, and I’m thankful to say that for now, we’re moving a pace that gives everyone breathing room, and I’m grateful.

What are you grateful for in 2019?

The Choice to Listen

The Choice to Listen

The Choice to Listen

As I’ve already said, human being can reason nearly anything they want to be true. Yet people who oppose my Christian views are rarely willing to discuss their own problematic thinking, including their desires, and how their desires potentially affect their arguments.

Mary Jo Sharp – Why I Still Believe

When I finished typing the quotes I’d compiled from Why I Still Believe into one document it was three pages long, and I left out many of the quotes that I’d highlighted because of a personal story I could apply. I chose to include the quotes I thought would resonate with a broader audience.

The quote posted above is one that has hung in the air for weeks. It’s found its way into Voxer conversations with friends who have confessed deep hurts with co-workers and with friends. Its come up when the word Christian was replaced with ethical or omitted altogether.

Humanity is Breaking into Two Camps:

Every day the world feels a little more polarized. The first group demands that everyone in their vicinity hear and agree with their viewpoint. Disagreement is met with disdain, obnoxious memes, or my favorite – Bible verses plucked randomly without any context around them.

The second group of people responds in frustration to the first. They are bewildered as to why those who so confidently point out the flaws they see in “the other side’s” arguments are unwilling to consider that their own view has some gaps in it as well.

The most frustrating part is that when the second group tries to distance themselves realizing there is no point in continuing to circle around deaf ears they are accused of being unwilling to listen!

This Divisiness is Tearing Apart the Church

Francis Chan faced backlash for sharing a stage with Benny Hinn. His explanation was clear: “Chan stated that he believes he can be most effective in places where he is ‘not in alignment theologically,’ so long as he is permitted to preach freely from Scripture.” The announcement is a recent one, but just last month Benny Hinn stated he is “correcting his theology” on the prosperity gospel. Could it be Chan’s influence?

The pressure to pick a camp and stay there is overt:

  • Sharon Hodde Miller and Annie Downs addressed this pressure in a recent podcast. They have both received requests to speak out publically on situations they don’t feel called to take sides on. Sharon’s latest book addresses this directly and points out that when we are more concerned with growing a platform than being a voice for the voiceless God is calling us to speak for this is a problem. However, we don’t need to have a public voice on every issue.
  • Priscilla Shirer spoke about the pressure to speak out on every subject and the lessons she has had to learn about what her large platform calling is about and what she is drawing a boundary around only speaking about to people in her inner circles.
  • You can read about Jackie Hill Perry losing income and a future speaking engagement due to an Instagram photo.

When Rachel Held Evans passed Ed Stetzer wrote a beautiful reflection of their relationship which he ended with this quote: “I’m thankful for many of the interactions we had, and I am a better person for having engaged with her.”

Why can’t we learn from each other with the understanding that we all love Jesus and we’re all learning different things at different points in our life journey?

I’ve learned different things about God from hundreds of different speakers and authors. It’s still my responsibility to check everything they say against what God says for myself. That doesn’t mean I have to stop listening. And it doesn’t mean that when I do listen I stop loving Jesus.

Listening is a Skill Taught in Preschool

It seems our human instinct is not to listen to each other. Discover Explore Learn says: “Listening skills are important at any life stage, but even more so in the early years.” There are plenty of skills I learned in elementary school and middle school I’ve long forgotten. However, that doesn’t mean they aren’t relevant or important.

A quick review of this list of 7 Listening Activities to Get Your Students Attentive and Ready to Learn identifies skills that will translate from the classroom to the boardroom with little adjustment.

I bring up this point to show that we’re all capable of learning HOW to listen to each other better, but it is not our natural instinct. It is a CHOICE to listen.

Jesus Listened

In Mark 5 when the bleeding woman is healed by touching Jesus’s robe he pauses to hear her story. She was already healed, but he listened anyway.

In John 5 Jesus approaches a blind man at the healing pool and has a conversation with him. He learns his story and ensures that the man isn’t left wondering WHY his healing happens.

In Luke 19 Jesus is attentive to body language. He sees Zaccheaus in a tree and knows this man is eager to be in his presence. Jesus doesn’t care that Zaccheaus is a tax collector, he invites himself over to his home for a meal and when he leaves Zaccheaus is a changed man.

Luke 10 and John 11 Jesus has conversations with Mary and Martha. These two sisters who love Jesus are trying their best to serve him and learn from him in their own ways. He pauses to teach them where others might rebuke their questions.

What Does This Have to Do with Athletics?

Coachable athletes are those who put their listening skills to use daily.

Coaches who model how to listen reinforce the important skills athletes will need in the classroom, workforce, and relationships.

Since it seems the areas where healthy listening practices are dwindling rapidly, it’s more important than ever that coaches and athletes practice excellent listening skills, especially when they don’t agree.

Rather than wasting time looking around for someone to agree with everything you agree with (since that is extremely unlikely to exist) both parties are likely to have more success by having healthy conversations. When we learn to listen and accept that it’s okay to have different opinions than other people we will all be better off. Who knows, you may even learn something new that end up agreeing with!

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