discipline

10 Things I Learned About God From Brother Lawrence

Brother_Lawrence_in_the_kitchen

“Let all our employment be to know GOD: the more one knows Him, the more one desires to know Him. And as knowledge is commonly the measure of love, the deeper and more extensive our knowledge shall be, the greater will be our love: and if our love of GOD were great, we should love Him equally in pains and pleasures.”

How is this possible? Here are 10 ways we can grow in our knowledge, understanding and love of God:

1. We Need to Be in Constant Conversation with our Father

“That his prayer was nothing else but a sense of the presence of GOD, his soul being at that time insensible to everything but Divine love: and that when the appointed times of prayer were past, he found no difference, because he still continued with GOD, praising and blessing Him with all his might, so that he passed his life in continual joy; yet hoped that GOD would give him somewhat to suffer, when he should grow stronger.”

Sure, set times for prayer, but even your job should not hinder you from praying to the Father.

 

2. No Matter The Circumstance, Do All Things For The Glory of God

“That we ought not to be weary of doing little things for the love of GOD, who regards not the greatness of the work, but the love with which it is performed. That we should not wonder if, in the beginning, we often failed in our endeavors, but that at last we should gain a habit, which will naturally produce its acts in us, without our care, and to our exceeding great delight.”

Brother Lawrence worked in the kitchen in a monastery, no one saw or appreciated his work, yet still found joy in the everyday tasks.

 

3. Tell God Your Faults, Failures and Fears

“That in his trouble of mind, he had consulted nobody, but knowing only by the light of faith that GOD was present, he contented himself with directing all his actions to Him, i.e., doing them with a desire to please Him, let what would come of it.”

In the moments of struggle, doubt, or failure, talk to God about it. He will give you hope, he will console you.

 

4. That God Loves Us Because He Loves Us

“That all bodily mortifications and other exercises are useless, except as they serve to arrive at the union with GOD by love; that he had well considered this, and found it the shortest way to go straight to Him by a continual exercise of love, and doing all things for His sake.”

There is nothing you can do that can change God’s love for you. You can screw up over and over or attend church every Sunday, God doesn’t see the actions, He see the heart and He loves you no matter what you choose to do or not to do.

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What Do the New Facebook Changes Mean for Your Ministry?

This post is aimed specifically at the youth leader, pastor, and the influential Christian. Facebook today has jumped into a whole new world of being social. As a person who is involved in the ministry you have been hesitant in the past to post pictures, videos, “likes” and other updates on who you are when you are not under the steeple. Facebook is making this harder and easier at the same time.

Some of the new things announced Thursday at the F8 Conference, Facebook’s “Tell-All” event, were the OpenGraph integrations, timeline, and newly upgraded apps. No longer can you click on an item in privacy, if JoAnne is listening to “Desperado” by the Eagles, Jessie Grace who is in your 6th grade small group will see.

Do not worry, privacy and sharing settings are all still there and are all becoming easier for you to filter what you do not want others to know. But, the point Facbook is trying to make, and where we are heading is that who you are will come out somehow and someway.

As a Christian, this is accountability and discipline at its finest. You can tell it not to show you are playing Farmville, listening to the Eagles, and reading Mary Higgins Clark’s bestseller, however, Facebook has presented two thoughts on why you should not keep these activities from the world. 1. Facebook is integrated around you and what you are doing so that people can be inspired. 2. Others who are with you when you are doing this activity can post that you are with them.

You are probably saying that this is not fair, and it may not be acceptable for someone who wants to just see what others are doing, but we are called to be disciplined as followers of Christ. Who you are and what you are struggling with will come out eventually. Facebook will best reveal the things that lurk in your heart through their timeline and its pattern integration.

Timeline will show all activities you are doing. You will be able to customize this as much as you want. You can show music you have listened to, books you have read, trails you have run, and food you have eaten. Lets say that you have been listening to music and reading material you should not have. If you are listening to or reading the content on a website or app connected to your email or Facebook, Facebook will begin to establish a pattern of what you are doing.

Bob is a dentist. He tells people to eat healthy, exercise daily, listen to motivational music and watch innocent movies. Everyone loves Bob, but what Facebook is starting to show is that Bob eats McDonalds about four times a week, has not run a mile in two weeks, listens to Eminem’s newest album and watched Saw V yesterday. Bob apparently is not practicing what he is preaching.

So what does this mean for you? It means that this is your time. This is the time for you to come clean and check if you are living a double-life. You may be outraged at Facebook, but know that even if Facebook crumbled, this is where we are heading.

Are you who you say you are?