Tag Archive | Contemplative Prayer

The Wayback Machine: May

Some things just get better with age. “The Wayback Machine” posts occur at the end of every month and reference the best posts of that month in years past. My hope is to provide a good jumping on point for readers who have never been to Pursuing Glory.

2009

Encouragment

Discouragement hits believers and causes them to be confused about the things that are real and important.  This post is me reminding myself (and my readers) about the realities that are important to fight for even when things are discouraging.  If you want a window into my soul when I’m fighting to stay in the game this is a post you want to check out.

The Five Blogs I Won’t Unsubscribe

Pretty much this blog is exactly what the title describes.  I’m an avid blog reader, so I thought I would share with my readers what blogs I most enjoy.  Most of these blogs still exist in one form or another and for the most part I would still recommend, if I were to write this post again it would be much different. I also have unsubscribed from one of the blogs on this list, too. I guess we all make mistakes, huh?

2008

Weekend

This post describes my journey to north-eastern Iowa to meet with other believers who were having more of a regional house church gathering.  This was my first attempt at meeting other believers who God has called into a similar lifestyle as us.  God also showed me some important insights into the nature of God’s Kingdom and transitioning into simple church realities.

2007

The Wisdom of the Desert Fathers

This was a post that recounts a conversation I had with E.J. about who the desert fathers were and why they are important today.  More than anything, it’s a primer into why the devotional practices of silence, solitute, and prayer are essential for the church in this hour.

How To Get the Most Out of Pursuing Glory

There are lots of ways to get more out of Pursuing Glory than just stopping back to check for new content every few days.  Here are some of the main ways you can join the conversation, learn, and contribute to the conversation we’re having:

Subscribe by Email or RSS

If you’re not particularly technologically inclined, hit the “Email Subscription” button on the sidebar of the blog.  If you’re more into computers or you’re daring, you could subscribe to this blog using a feed reader.  This link is a great explanation of RSS and Feed Readers. Let’s face it. Life is busy and it’s easy to fall out of the loop.  Either of these tricks will help you stay involved in what’s going on.

Comment

We learn more by talking and teaching than we do by listening and reading.  So help us learn by sharing your life, your pursuit of Jesus, and what you’ve learned through your experience in the comment section. Click on “Leave a Comment” or “with 1 Comment” or “with [X number of] Comments” at the top of every post to see and leave comments.

Follow Me On Twitter

Twitter is where I post thoughts and quotes that will either become a full post here or is relevant to the topics we discuss here.  I’m also planning at least one Twitter/Blog series where one set of unique material will show up in my twitter stream that will correspond with a blog series I’m running here.  You can find me on Twitter @traviskolder.

Notes From The Margins

On a somewhat irregular basis I post a blog in my “Notes from the Margin” series.  The point of the series is not just what I’m finding in Scripture and what I write, but also what you’re finding in Scripture and what you’re writing about it.  If you have a blog, I’d love to see you take this series and do your own.  You can check out the guidelines for Notes from the Margins and read examples of the series here and here.

Email Me

I love interacting with readers of the blog.  Shoot me an email, say hi, show me the blog you’re writing or tell me about the work you’re doing, tell me what you’d like to see or what you’ve enjoyed so far.

Photo Credit: Dr Who by Aussiegal

Advertisements

Confirmation (Thirty Days to Greater Fruitfulness, Day 17)

This blog has been temporarily overtaken by my Thirty Days To Greater Fruitfulness Challenge.  You can find out more by checking out the Introduction.

I love it when God speaks about something.  I love it even more when God is committed enough to an issue that He speaks to you about it multiple times.  While God doesn’t always speak twice on a matter He is serious about, His repitition can be a clue that we are on the right track (2 Corinthians 13:1).

This morning, after repenting, I woke with a dream.  In the dream, Couple B, whom I mentioned buying a book for in a previous post, had their home overtaken by people I consider national leaders in the house church movement in this country.  In the dream I was worried that Couple B  would be horrified and angry about the intrusion.  However, as things progressed, it became clearer that these national house church leaders were not a burden like I had initially thought.

So as you can imagine, having this dream, I felt like I should probably get back on the ball and have a conversation with Couple B.  You know, the one I decided I was going to have about two weeks ago. The dream seemed to me to be indicating that taking a plunge into an organic church might be messy, in the end it may be rewarding. The crazy part was that when I got home that evening, the book I had ordered for them about the exact same topic had come in the mail.  Coincidence? Only if there is no such thing as God.

These are the sort of things that are beginning to happen more and more.  God speaking, a little hear, a little there, and then confirming what He has already said in subtle but important ways.  Part of it is I’m watching for it more.  But a large part of the change is I’m certainly more connected.

How about you? How is God speaking to you and confirming what He has said in this time? Leave us a note in the comment section.

Join us on the “Thirty Days to Greater Fruitfulness” experiment.  For the rest of September we are spending 30 minutes in silent prayer listening to Jesus and then acting on what He asks us to do.  Then we blog about the changes that are occurring in our lives through the marriage of listening and obedience.  It’s not too late.  If you’re just checking out that experiment feel free to jump in.  And if you want more information, you can check it out here.

Photo Credit: September WallPaper Calendar by DewDreams

Small Desires (Thirty Days To Greater Fruitfulness, Day 15)

This blog has been temporarily overtaken by my Thirty Days To Greater Fruitfulness Challenge.  You can find out more by checking out the Introduction.

One of the things I’m learning on this journey is that some times the silliest, smallest desires of my heart touch something that is on the heart of the Lord.

Yesterday I was listening to a book that is totally about restoring Jesus to first place in the church.  In the midst of the author’s description of Jesus, I found my heart stirred to read a passage from a book that I had picked up a few years back that quotes Napoleon’s thoughts on Jesus.

After going back and reading the passage, I felt compelled to share the passage here on the blog.  Unbeknownst to me, my blog post got picked up and retweeted by the author of the first book I was reading and over the course of the day it became one of my most viewed blogs of the whole year.

What do I want you to take away from all of this? Listening to Jesus is not a sure-fire way to make you popular and successful.  In fact, rarely is that the case.  However, I do believe that if we follow the voice of Jesus (even when it comes to us cloaked in the desires of our hearts) that we will be able to influence the church (and beyond) to treasure Jesus rightly and follow Him.  This was a little sign of this for me today.

How have you experienced Jesus leading you through the desires of your heart? Do you have  a tough time distinguishing between Jesus’ desires and your own?  How have you resolved that problem? Let us know in the comment section.

Join us on the “Thirty Days to Greater Fruitfulness” experiment.  For the rest of September we are spending 30 minutes in silent prayer listening to Jesus and then acting on what He asks us to do.  Then we blog about the changes that are occurring in our lives through the marriage of listening and obedience.  It’s not too late.  If you’re just checking out that experiment feel free to jump in.  And if you want more information, you can check it out here.

Photo Credit: September WallPaper Calendar by DewDreams

“Stuff” (Thirty Days To Greater Fruitfulness, Day 16)

This blog has been temporarily overtaken by my Thirty Days To Greater Fruitfulness Challenge.  You can find out more by checking out the Introduction.

Today was one of those days that was filled with lots of “stuff.”  You know what I mean by “stuff.”  “Stuff” is the sort of life events that eat away at your time, money, and energy without returning much, if any benefit.  And though “stuff” takes a lot and gives you nothing back, there is nothing virtuous about you giving your life to it.  You aren’t built up on the inside by “stuff” either.

Unfortunately “stuff” has been side-tracking me as of late.  It’s kept me from waiting on the Lord earlier in the day (either in the morning or by lunch time) and it has consumed much of my attention throughout the day.  This has made my times of listening weak.  I’ve been tired and fallen asleep during it. It’s also made my times not listening hurried and I haven’t had time to even hear the Lord’s heart when I’m not praying, let alone respond.

The good news is that I had a chance to sit down with Dick Speight this afternoon.  He encouraged me in my journey and encouraged me not to worry about the “should’s” or the “have to’s” and continue to focus on listening and obeying.  He’s right.  And in addition to that, I also need to not be consumed with things other than the Lord right now.

So, officially tonight, I’m getting back on the wagon. I’m signing back up.  Tomorrow, more waiting and hearing and obeying and less worry and care and distraction and amusement.  Jesus, may obedience to your voice trump every other subject and object in my life.

Have you found that other things have taken your time away from listening and obeying?  What helped you realize that?  How have you corrected that?  Tell us in the comment section.

Join us on the “Thirty Days to Greater Fruitfulness” experiment.  For the rest of September we are spending 30 minutes in silent prayer listening to Jesus and then acting on what He asks us to do.  Then we blog about the changes that are occurring in our lives through the marriage of listening and obedience.  It’s not too late.  If you’re just checking out that experiment feel free to jump in.  And if you want more information, you can check it out here.

Photo Credit: September WallPaper Calendar by DewDreams

Thirty Days To Greater Fruitfulness, Week Two

This blog has been temporarily overtaken by my Thirty Days To Greater Fruitfulness Challenge.  You can find out more by checking out the Introduction.

The following posts were from the second week of our Thirty Days To Greater Fruitfulness Challenge:

Day 8 Hearing His Voice

Day 9 Peace In Storms

Day 10 Humility

Day 11 I’m Being Heard

Day 12 Some Thoughts On Priests

Day 13 Focus

Day 14 Highs and Lows

Join us on the “Thirty Days to Greater Fruitfulness” experiment.  For the rest of September we are spending 30 minutes in silent prayer listening to Jesus and then acting on what He asks us to do.  Then we blog about the changes that are occurring in our lives through the marriage of listening and obedience.  It’s not too late.  If you’re just checking out that experiment feel free to jump in.  And if you want more information, you can check it out here.

Photo Credit: Calendar by Adreanna Moyer Photography

Highs and Lows (Thirty Days To Greater Fruitfulness, Day 14)

This blog has been temporarily overtaken by my Thirty Days To Greater Fruitfulness Challenge.  You can find out more by checking out the Introduction.

Here I am again today listening to Jesus and doing what He says.  It’s so very obvious to me that this is both a great exercise and very difficult all at the same time.  I have to restrain myself from trying to make things happen by my own power and yet still walk through very high highs and very low lows.

Lets start with the highs. Today it became pretty clear that Jesus is using me to pour into the lives of a few friends.  This is just beginning to happen because I’ve been able to listen and obey.  I’m finding doors open that weren’t open before.  We even had friends randomly stop over with a gift (truly from the Lord) that totally blew our minds.

On the flip side we caught news that some very dear friends are going through a very difficult season.  The hardest part about the news (for me, at least) is my total inability to change the situation.  Jesus gave me a couple of key pieces of wisdom in my conversation with my friend and my hope is they helped.  But now all I can do is trust Him and follow.

So what do you do when you’re following a God who remains present through all of life’s highs and lows, yet transcends them?  He weeps over Lazarus but He still waits four days to show up.  He’s thrilled over His disciples’ ministry success but still has warnings to give.  He’s totally engaged in what is happening yet He sees another level that never lets you quite be comfortable with where you’re at.  Through the highs and the lows, He is the constant. Him, and Him alone. I guess in the end that makes Him the only safe place to take refuge.

Has listening and obeying changed how you experience the highs and lows of life? Tell us how in the comment section.

Join us on the “Thirty Days to Greater Fruitfulness” experiment.  For the rest of September we are spending 30 minutes in silent prayer listening to Jesus and then acting on what He asks us to do.  Then we blog about the changes that are occurring in our lives through the marriage of listening and obedience.  It’s not too late.  If you’re just checking out that experiment feel free to jump in.  And if you want more information, you can check it out here.

Photo Credit: September WallPaper Calendar by DewDreams

Focus (Thirty Days To Greater Fruitfulness, Day 13)

This blog has been temporarily overtaken by my Thirty Days To Greater Fruitfulness Challenge.  You can find out more by checking out the Introduction.

Today was another one of those days where there was work going on below the surface.  It’s not so much that nothing was going on as much as most of the work was hidden and unseen.

What I can gladly report though is that in my time of waiting to hear what the Lord had to say, Jesus dramatically clarified my week. Instead of the numerous things I would have tried to do this week, I have only a few specific tasks.  This is important because I make up a lot of extra work for myself.  Having Jesus clarify what is my job over the next week is remarkably freeing.  I don’t have to worry about all the things that typically concern me, I just have to be faithful with what I’ve heard.

So for this week, I have to probe into one of the situations that I keep bringing up (which I still have very little clarity on).  I also have to prepare for our block party coming up in a few weeks.  And then I get to dream with Jesus about what our house church(es?) will look like in the near future.  Simple, huh?  And there-in lies the beauty of God giving us the things that are His agenda.

How about you?  Have you seen the Lord bring focus to your life on this 30 Day challenge?  Has that made things easier or more difficult?  Leave a comment and let us know.

Join us on the “Thirty Days to Greater Fruitfulness” experiment.  For the rest of September we are spending 30 minutes in silent prayer listening to Jesus and then acting on what He asks us to do.  Then we blog about the changes that are occurring in our lives through the marriage of listening and obedience.  It’s not too late.  If you’re just checking out that experiment feel free to jump in.  And if you want more information, you can check it out here.

Photo Credit: September WallPaper Calendar by DewDreams