If I die before I wake...
It may be that this is the last thing I get to write. I’m not sure but I feel like my lungs and heart are struggling right now. It’s the day after Christmas and I’m not sure what to wish for. I’m sick enough to not want to live. I’ve often thought that my life would not be long. I might have been right.
To my wife...Kristyn you are the greatest thing that ever happened to me and the greatest person I’ve known. Thank you for loving me, forgiving me, and standing beside me. I’m not sure if anyone else could do it.
To my kids...I love you and am proud of you. Of all the titles I’ve had I like dad the best.
To the people of CTK...I think the name of our church says it all. Make Christ your king. There is nothing about Him that you cannot worship. Follow Him.
To the pastors of CTK...keep the main king the main king. And keep it simple.
Looking forward to being with Christ. Sooner or later.
Love to all,
This past weekend Dave Browning, the founder of Christ the King and the Lead Pastor of Christ the King International, discovered that he has tumor in his brain. In December, he was sick and had a temperature of over 102 for five days in a row. During that time he typed the following note:
by Lisa Underwood
I love to talk. I can find pretty much any random stranger and we can become decent friends (or at least cordial acquaintances) after a few minutes of dialogue. Conversations are pretty fluid if I’m in the room. I like to keep the buzz of enthusiastic dialogue going. It’s fun. It’s energizing. It’s also sometimes my biggest thorn in the flesh!
Over these past few years, God seems to be reminding me to speak less, love more. Especially within the closest relationships in my world (such as my kids who are now young men). I have soooo much to say to them sometimes! And man, you can bet they need to hear it! (Eye roll appropriate at this moment.) However, the more I say, the bigger gap I create in our relationship. The quieter I am, the more I pray instead of speaking, the more freedom they have to hear the voice of God as He lovingly guides them.
Do you remember the song “Come As You Are” by David Crowder? God allows me to come as I am. He doesn’t immediately start telling me what I NEED to hear. And God knows I NEED to hear a lot from Him! But most of the time, He simply holds me and let’s me gripe a little (or a lot) as I sit on His lap and rant about my frustrations. In that safe place, I am free to truly hear His words of love. I want to be that safe place for those in my world. I want to be quiet and let them “come as they are” so they are free to feel the love of my presence.
Proverbs 10:19 says “the prudent hold their tongues” We can all think of someone we know who may not talk much but when they do talk, they truly give wise thoughtful words to those around them. Ausonius says “He who does not know how to be silent will not know how to speak.” Part of being silent is so we can learn to use our words carefully and thoughtfully.
Lord, may you continue to teach me how to be silent,
by Trina Riley,
I recently read one of the best definitions of contemplation I’ve ever come across. I’ve read it several times very slowly, and I encourage you to do the same.
“To ‘contemplate’ means to observe carefully, to pay attention. Throughout the day, things catch our eye and we momentarily contemplate them. In the quietness of the sustained attentive gaze, we recognize a preciousness—an immediate worth or value for which no words can do justice. And we sense this is so because the worth or value is God’s presence pouring itself out and giving itself away in and as the gift and miracle in whatever it is that may have captured our attention.” (James Finley)
Now read it like this…
Throughout the day, I catch God’s eye and He contemplates (gazes) on me. In the quietness of the sustained attentive gaze, He recognizes a preciousness – an immediate worth or value for which no words can do justice. This is so because the worth or value is God’s presence pouring itself out and giving itself away in and through the gift and miracle of me…
Wow. What if we took a few minutes of our precious Facebook-social media-news-frenzied time and just immersed in that reality…as the precious apple of God’s eye, soaking in His gaze with all the wonder and worth we are meant to live in? And what if we took a moment to gaze back? And then took that gaze, His gaze through us, to the rest of the world? No fear, no ego, no striving, no having to be right or fix this mess. Just soaking…so as to truly see His presence and worth and value in the midst of the clanging cymbals all around us. Discernment. Love.
Paul is speaking from this place, this cycle of love. He is immersing in God’s love, as God is completing the work He has begun in Paul. In this space, Paul is able to see the people around him, recognizing their precious worth and God’s miraculous presence and work in and through them. They are in this together. There is hope. He speaks from the outflow of a heart filled with joy as he sits in chains for God’s sake! He knows who he is, he is God’s and he is loved. He experiences it…tastes it…gives it…lives it.
by Shon Sanders
Often times, we think only of singing when we’re happy and times are good, but singing bringing strength for trial comes out in Acts 16. Paul and Silas are unjustly imprisoned for the sake of the Gospel, and what do they do while they’re in prison? Sing! (Acts 16:25)
Psalms is full of songs of praise and thanksgiving, but also of lament, and mourning.
After the last Supper, Jesus sang. “And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.”Mark 14:26
If you are joyful, sing. If you are struggling for joy, don’t forget to sing. It has a unique way of bringing your heart, soul, and mind together to focus entirely and completely on God
I will sing to The Lord as long as I live;