Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Toastmasters

For those of you who don't know Toastmasters is an organization that is designed to help people increase their communication skills. It is primarily designed for the corporate environment, but it is useful for anyone who needs to communicate verbally (any monks taking a vow of silence need not apply). It is something that my Father-in-law had been suggesting that I join, but I put it off since I had other things to do. Since he died I have been thinking about ways to honor him and to carry on some of his legacy, so I have joined a local Toastmasters club.

It is stretching me not only to meet non-Christians, but also to examine the way that I speak to everyone. I have become more aware of my words and the impact that they have on the message that I am trying to send. In any ministry job my words are my tools. How well I use my tools determines how well I do my job. More importantly, my use of words can determine the picture that people have of God. I know that God can use me in spite of what I say, but shouldn’t I be removing the obstacles to God’s work in my life?

Friday, October 15, 2004

How seriously do we take God?

I have struggled with this question for a long time. I don't think I will stop struggling any time soon. If I believe that God is almighty and that he hears my prayers - why don't I pray for big things. I'm not talking about winning the lottery; I'm talking about healing people, about radically changing people's hearts, about miraculously providing for his people. You know why I don't pray for God to break in to my mundane reality? Because I'm scared; I'm scared that it won't happen and my faith will be in nothing. I'm scared that it won't happen and my faith will be proven weak. I'm scared that it will happen and my life will be proven inadiquate for such a God.

Richard Foster in The Celebration of Discipline suggest that we don't try to pray for the big things right away. We need to work our faith in the small things before we are ready for the big things. We need to pray for God to heal our cold and see that he is faithful before we pray for God to heal cancer. He also suggested praying with your imagination. Picturing Jesus standing over the person that you are praying for and placing his hands on them and letting his light and glory flow into them and over them and through them. Imagine that Jesus envelops them with pure love and light and that their cold is fleeing his power. Then imagine them feeling much better and breathing clearly. Imagine what God can do.

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Monday, October 04, 2004


The beginning of "Jonah" Posted by Hello

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Mike Cope refers to the painting as he speaks. Posted by Hello

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"Jonah lost at sea" Posted by Hello

Jack and Jill Maxwell with "Jonah" Posted by Hello

"He Hideth My Soul in the Cleft of the Rock" Posted by Hello

almost done . . .  Posted by Hello

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The picture develops . . .  Posted by Hello

Jack and Jill Maxwell at Zoe 2004 start painting while Mike Cope speaks. Posted by Hello