If you’ve never been kayaking on Lake Olathe in the middle of the night, you’re missing out.
My friend Pete lived around the bend from the shore and just happened to own a couple of kayaks. Pete was a competitor. Intensity permeated everything he did. He was brawn and I was brain, but it was our competitive spirit and love of laughter that bound us together.
We were friends from a young age. Post elementary school I moved away from Kansas, kissing the sunflowers and wheat fields goodbye and opening my arms to embrace the tumbleweed and poker machines of Northern Nevada. I missed Pete. But with a dash of fate and a pinch of will, I returned to Olathe, having enrolled in the local University. We picked up right where we left off—late night shenanigans, shooting sophomoric films, video games. And it was during one these late nights we hatched the idea to slip our boats into the still, black waters of the Olathe lake.
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4 Spiritual Disciplines You Need In Your Life
Following my morning workouts, I usually head to the coffee shop and reward myself. Recently, it dawned on me, all of my gains from my early morning workouts are undone by a five-minute splurge on a 700-calorie frozen treat. I began to feel defeated, knowing my workout wasn’t making a difference because of my habit.
What Olympic athlete frequents the coffee shop immediately after his workout? Olympians ruthlessly beat their bodies into submission and deny their bodies permission to splurge on natural cravings and desires. Why? Their laser-focused intensity on winning the gold medal drives them to a higher level of performance than most.
My pastor, Ken DeChant, summarizes it like this: Winning requires discipline.
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.” (1 Corinthians 9:24-27)
If you begin to practice these four spiritual disciplines, you will see your life change. You will be training to win, living to earn an eternal reward.
Read the rest of 4 spiritual disciplines you need in your life over at Vital Magazine.
As the angel announced your birth into the world saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth,” the focal point of history changed.
So my prayer is simple.
As I celebrate Jesus’ birth this weekend with my family and friends, let the announcement of your birth continue to change me.
You came to bring peace on earth – a complete well-being flowing from restored relationship with you.
Give me peace.
Give me more of your presence as I walk with you each day. In your presence, I can find rest. In your presence, I will know peace.
How many observe Christ’s birthday! How few, His precepts! O! ’tis easier to keep Holidays than commandments.
As I’ve read, prayed, grown, and studied throughout the years, I’ve often thought about prayer. Specifically, can I pray silently, or does prayer count only when I pray out loud?
Prayer (in my definition) is essentially communication with God. We can communicate through an array of means, much more than the simple words that flow from our mouths. Verbal and visual prayers can communicate with God just the same. Here is two records of when “silent prayer,” was answered by God:
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Thank you for today. Thank you for this moment. Thank you that I can stop to consider how good you are. Thank you for giving me plenty to be thankful for.
Thank you for loving me. Thank you for guiding me. Thank you for leading me in your path, so that I may grow into more of you.
Thank you for Jesus. Thank you for your Word. Thank you for your Spirit. Thank you for your love.
And, thank you for
(fill in the blank with your own expressions of gratitude).
I am committed to following your will. I am given to living by your written code. And I see that thankfulness isn’t a choice, but thankfulness is something you desire from me on a continual basis.
Help me to remain thankful. Help me to keep seeing your hand in every situation. Help me to obey your will. Fill my heart with love, and let me overflow with thankfulness.
3 Ways to Stay Thankful During Thanksgiving (And All Year Long)
I remember the good old days when Thanksgiving sales did not start until early Friday morning.
But Black Friday is no more. Now, it seems, we should call Thanksgiving, “Black Thursday” when mainstream focus is on food, football, and fantastic deals. The largest sales end before midnight, and the weekend follows with lingering discounts and opportunities to spend more money.
It’s ironic. During Thanksgiving, when people should be happiest, they seem to become the most irritable. When we should be counting our blessings, we count our cash instead (and often spend more than we count). No wonder Americans get so stressed out.
So how can we stay thankful during Thanksgiving, and even all year long?
Read the rest of 3 Ways to Stay Thankful During Thanksgiving over at AndrewGilmore.net.