God

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.

(more…)

Advertisements

How to Leave Ordinary And Become Extraordinary – Part One

Summer is in full swing and while most ordinary citizens are basking in the sun and sipping their virgin margaritas, I am giving it all up. Working for summer beach camps has been my life for the past four years and five summers. You may not think that is normal, but for me it is my job. It all began almost a year ago when I was packing up and finalizing details of last summer’s beach camps. In me I felt a subtle discontent. Something was awry and became more unsettling. As August began to pass I found my heart longing for an escape from the ordinary and average and a pursuit of something extraordinary. What happened was a happenstance glance into a friend’s Facebook photo album. My pal, Kyle Dennard, left America behind for a year to explore the globe with the World Race. He too has a stirring of the heart to just get up and go. That same feeling echoed in my heart, “leave it all behind Trent and go.”

The Millennial Generation does not have the best reputation. We are understandably known as “Generation Me”. We have been raised to be comfortable, self-consumed, prideful, arrogant, and narrow-minded. In fact, articles have been posted recently on CNN, Fox News, and NBCNews.com about how it is not our fault that we are who we are. Here is the thing, we are at fault for who we are. It is a combined effort. Culture has blinded us to the truth that we are essentially emotionless robots who receive sensation from materialistic things. Brand names like Starbucks, Candy Rush, Snapchat, Facebook, Walking Dead, Instagram and Vine all feed into our egotistical self. They all exist to give us a temporary sense of fulfillment. They bring us in and toss us out and make us come back wanting more. Picture yourself sitting in Vegas in front of a slot machine constantly inserting coins into the machine. That is the American life.

The Christian Church has not been immune to this. Unfortunately many churches have entrapped themselves as well to culture. Some churches use flashy production to stimulate the mind. Some churches misuse the Holy Spirit and mistake it for an adrenaline rush. Some churches use tradition and “fire and brimstone” and forget about saving grace. Some churches have become too accepting and allow people living an immoral lifestyle to shepherd a whole flock. Like the rest of American culture, the church too has started to sit in front of slot machines trying to find God in the next pull. But God is not American and God does not change who he is for who our culture says he should be.

So, back to last August, I began to listen to the voice inside and began to ask those I love and trust their honest opinions and thoughts. Not one hesitated to say that The World Race was exactly the right thing for me to do. So in obedience to the urging of the Holy Spirit, I began the application process for the World Race. The turn-around was quick and such a God thing. Before I knew it I was the first guy added to the U Squad for September 2013 departure. The only thing that separated me from a life of faith, trust, risk and obedience was one more step, give the first donation myself.

Part Two coming shortly.

Please consider supporting my year in missions by supporting me financially on the World Race. Give now by credit card HERE. For more information on my involvement with the World Race and what I am doing click HERE.

Live Like We are Dying

Kris Allen

If you haven’t had the chance to listen to Kris Allen’s “Live Like We Are Dying,” be ready for a #1 hit. Why? It applies to all of our lives.  Let’s take in a few of the lines:

Our hearts are hungry for a food that won’t come
We could make a feast from these crumbs

Hmmm… what could we take this to mean? Maybe we search for all sorts of things that in the end tend to give us little fullfillment. Maybe we need to take our focus off of the big and bright shiny things that attract us and look at all (more…)

Doors tend to open in my face, not close.

Long title, yes…I know. But after writing and revising a billion times my last post, I have seen my heart eased and God show up in instances I need him. With the exception of the nightmare I had last night about Nike retail…the store never closed and people kept on checking out and complaining. Believe me, if you have worked retail you would understand why I woke up with an anxiety attack. Worst nightmare EVER!
But, back on track, I know there is a God, and so do all people who follow a religion or belief. I know Jesus is my hero and that he does something that all other religions and gods can’t do. He asks me for nothing in return for just my love and trust in Him. I can’t earn and don’t deserve anything from Him. He calls me to just love. And this is where Christianity fails miserably. This is why people who are not religious or once were despise Christians so much. We forget that God takes us where we are at (read my last post). He takes us where we are at, whether we are the worst hypocrites or the perfect Biblethumper. Since he can take and love such a screw-up like me, why do Christians feel the need to limit and exclude so many people due to race, sex, belief, and sexuality. Why can’t we be like Jesus and love others unconditionally. We are not called to change people, we are called to love and let God do the change. God knows everyone the best and He knows the best timing…we don’t. We are screw-ups, right??? (more…)