When I was in high school, I had a fender bender in my dad’s car. Dad drove a Nissan Pulsar… Read more Grace Begets Grace
(Content adapted from my new book Learning to Breathe: How to Cultivate a Life-Changing Relationship with the Holy Spirit) When my… Read more Why is Change So Hard?
(Adapted from my book Learning to Breathe: How to Cultivate a Life-Changing Relationship with the Holy Spirit) When my wife… Read more 7 Questions for Finding a Good Church
In my years as a pastor, I’ve noticed that certain confusions about the Bible pop up time and time again.… Read more 10 Common Bible Confusions Explained
Every so often, a spiritual metaphor shows up right outside your office window, and if you’re a pastor I think… Read more Healthy Fruit Comes From Healthy Roots
I’m generally a failure when it comes to New Year’s resolutions. Based on the statistics I’ve seen, I am not alone in that. We tend to be good at making resolutions, but fewer than 10% of us actually keep them for more than a week or two.
Christmas might be the Most Wonderful Time of the Year, but it can also be the most hectic. We all know that Jesus is the reason for the season, as they say, but it’s all too easy to fly through the season hardly thinking of Him at all. Between shopping for gifts, attending parties, and making travel arrangements, finding time to pause with your family and reflect on the Incarnation of Christ can seem impossible.
Incorporating Jesus into your family’s Christmas rhythm doesn’t have to be complicated and time-consuming, though. It can be simple and even quite fun. You only need a few minutes a day and little bit of persistence. Here are a few ideas that our family has implemented over the years to help us focus on Jesus:
I didn’t grow up watching Aggie football. My parents both attended the University of Oklahoma, and neither were big college football fans. But my grandfather (whom we called Ghido) was an ardent Sooners fan. At least once when I was young, he took us to a game in Norman. All I remember about the game is that Ghido seemed to know every person in the stadium. I came to realize over the years that he seemed to know everybody wherever he went. He was one of those rare individuals who could walk into a room of strangers and quickly turn them into friends.
Still, Ghido loved his family above all else, especially his nine grandchildren. Each one of us secretly believed we were his favorite, and we loved him deeply. In fact, it was my love for my Sooner grandfather that eventually cemented my love of Aggie football.
As a kid growing up in church, I remember being warned about meditation. Meditation was a weird and scary habit, something practiced by Hollywood actors who sat in a lotus position while reciting ancient Hindu mantras. Perhaps because of the fear that meditation is too closely connected to Eastern religion, I’ve rarely heard of a pastor encouraging his congregation to meditate.
The Bible does encourage God’s people to meditate on His Word, though.
When I was in college, one of my roommates had very long quiet times every day. He would pray and read his Bible for at least an hour every day, if not longer. Sometimes I started my quiet times exactly when he did, but I always finished mine much sooner. I would read several chapters of the Bible and then pray for everything I could think of. If somebody in my Bible study had asked me to pray for their sick poodle, I prayed for it. But for some reason, I always found myself running out of things to say long before my roommate did. I’d look over at him and wonder what was taking him so long. Did he talk slower than I did? Or was he genuinely a better Christian than me?