We know this is a good thing for us. We know that this is the inspired Word of God. We know that if we want to grow spiritually then the best thing in the world for us is to every day crack open God’s Word and prayerfully read it, believe it, and obey it. We know these things. And yet at some point this very week – maybe tomorrow – you won’t feel like opening God’s Word. And neither will I.
Baby skin for a pastor is often seen as a deficit. It’s too tough to wear your heart on your sleeve. You take way too many shots and criticisms to pray for baby skin. And so I started praying for different things. I started praying for toughness. For strength. For the ability to lead.
If you Google “Time Management Hacks,” you will receive 1.4M search results, meaning you can spend the rest of your life reading about how to save time. If you are not familiar with the term, “time hacking” often refers to experimenting with your approach to life, schedules, and time management to ensure you are finding as much time as possible for what is most important. From rising early to using “time hacking tools,” advice abounds. Yet the sheer number of articles about “hacking your time” shows the hacks are not always helpful. If they were, why would we need more and more advice? So here are three reasons time hacks are not working.
A dear friend of mine who has seven children always reminds me that we are not raising children; we are raising adults. So as Christ-followers, our parenting goal is not to raise well-behaved children, but to raise Christ-following adults. To disciple a Christ-follower, we must feed them a steady diet of good theology that is fortified with the Word of God, which tells us that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” and that “it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast.” In other words, we are all sinners, and the redemption of sinners is a work of God.
The reason we should learn names is twofold. First, a general reason: God has always existed in relationship—the loving relationship of Father, Son, and Spirit. And because we are made in God’s image and likeness, it’s not good for us to be alone. I believe this is the main reason why people desire to be where everyone knows their name, as in the tagline from the old show Cheers. God designed us for community.
But where do you start? When you look up at the mountain, you try to find a good place to begin. That first step, though not as difficult as some of the later steps, is important nonetheless.
Let me share how I begin the climb towards the pulpit.
A favorite from the archives:
One of my favorite stories about Martin Luther is that of his “Tower Experience”. He studied the Scriptures diligently, seeking to understand them, even as he found he grew to hate the God about whom they testified.
Romans 1:17 was the verse that troubled him so. “For in it God’s righteousness is revealed from faith to faith, just as it is written: The righteous will live by faith.”