Tag Archives: learn

Your Faith Walk

guitarChristian musician Peter Mayer has this advice for aspiring musicians: “If you’re a songwriter, guitarist or singer, do it every day. Let those voices seeking a home know that yours is available. Do the practice, playing of gigs, writing and rehearsing more than you talk or post about it. Fail at least as much as you succeed, and you’re on the discovery road” (“I’m a Lutheran,” Living Lutheran, February 2018, 13).

After reading words, I realized Mayer’s advice to musician here is a blueprint for Christian living as well in our walk of faith. Here’s what I mean:

As Christians, we need to live as Christians every day. There is no day off from serving, praising, praying, loving, confessing our sins and receiving forgiveness. Do your Christian faith every day.

Be open and available to carrying out the mission and the calling that Christ has for you. Always be ready to say yes to opportunities that come your way that are in line with your God-given gifts.

Actions speak louder than words, we know. So be people of action. We can say we will do this or that very easily sometimes. But it is the follow-through that takes the most effort and has the most impact.

Never be afraid to fail. We all know stories of famous people who failed many times before they reached success. We as Christians are no different. We cannot live in fear of not doing well and then do nothing at all. Failure leads to learning and helps us to do better the next time we are called into action for Jesus. No one can do everything right all the time. Once you accept that fact, it frees you up to keep trying. And God will bless your efforts in the end.

The Christian life is about discovery. Become a lifelong learner. Keep growing in your knowledge and fear of the Lord and let him keep leading you on.

The path of every Christian will lead directly to a deep relationship with Christ. As Peter Mayer would  say, “Know and experience this mighty love of God in Christ” as you walk in his way.

 

Uber Lessons Learned

uberWhen Pastor Elijah Mwitanti was between pastoral calls, he took a job as an Uber driver for 18 months and quickly realized he had a new mobile congregation.

“Trying to satisfy the ‘friendly atmosphere’ aspect of the [Uber] contract brought the pastor in me out into the open” Mwitanti realized. God had put him in that car and at that time “to be a connection between people and God” (Living Lutheran, April 2018, 40).

Here are the lessons he learned through the experience:

  1. People were willing to engage in meaningful and uplifting conversations when approached in a nonjudgmental way.
  2. People were more responsive to small talk than he expected.
  3. People had an interest in knowing about him.
  4. People were receptive to his comments about his faith.
  5. People were civil and respectful.

Mwitanti returned to the pulpit with a greater sense of appreciating the need to connect with people on a personal level, not being afraid to initiate conversations with whoever entered through his church door.

Mwitanti’s experience makes me realize that I am often reticent to approach people in church to start conversations. But that may just be what God is calling me to do at that time and that place. People are more open and welcoming than we may think, and there is so much we can learn from each other about our faith lives and about what our Savior has done and is doing.

It often takes just one simple conversation starter to get the ball rolling. See what you can do to be a God connector with someone you don’t know at church.

 

 

Being Humble

humbleThe Bible says, “Humble yourself before the Lord’ (James 4:10). But what does that really mean?

Mark R. McMinn, in “The Science of Humility” in the July/August issue of Christianity Today, gives us some guidance in this area, explaining that scientists point to three primary qualities of humble people (82-82):

Quality 1: Humble people have a reasonably accurate view of themselves (neither too high or too low).

Quality 2: Humble people pay attention to others.

Quality 3: Humble people are teachable.

The wheels in my head are turning almost immediately when I consider each of these qualities. One common thread that weaves through each of them is that humility involves fighting the internal tendency we have as humans to say, “I am the best. I am the most important. I know how to do this.”

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Emboldened by Anonymity

laptopPastor Matthew Peeples talks about how people in our society today in the new realities of communication are emboldened by anonymity. Because we cannot physically see the people we are talking to on social media and other platforms, we often tend to say things we wouldn’t otherwise do in a public setting, Peeples explains, and so we share things publicly that we would normally  keep private.

We all know of situations or circumstances in which people perhaps “overshared” on social media which then led to some unintentional consequences or had unforeseen implications.

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Backchannels

backchannelsAnother new reality of communication that Pastor Matt Peeples reveals is: Backchannels are always open. What are backchannels, you ask? They are the conversations behind the conversations that are always going on in our digital age.

I have seen this in play at conferences and other meetings where they even encourage backchannel engagement in real time by announcing a hashtag with the conference name or meeting locale for people to use to converse on Twitter about what is happening at various sessions.

I also see this at play within the comments sections below a post or a video link. People’s reactions, good or bad, are exchanged and discussed, and we as the viewer become privy to these interchanges, if we like it or not.

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Look at the Birds

I have long been fascinated with birds. In fact, in eighth grade I declared that I wanted to be an ornithologist and I did my entire science fair project on which birds ate what types of seeds and suet from various types of feeders. Our family’s backyard became a bird Shangri-La for a time.

Then I have recently realized that that I have many bird-themed items in my home that I look at every day.

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