It’s What We Do That Matters!

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In the last few days, I came across these two incisive and profound articles. Check them out below:

The Biggest Misconception about Apple

3 Ways to Engage Culture

As the first article explains, Apple is routinely described as an innovative company, and in one respect it is appropriate to describe it as such. But in reality, it develops innovative products and then spends years refining and perfecting those products, making them the best they can be. As Ben Taylor declares, specifically that’s not innovation, but iteration, which means to do something again and again.

I believe this is a great reminder for Christians! A mature Christian life consists of doing the same practices daily, yet seeking to do them better, and becoming stronger and more intimate with our Lord and Savior in the process. And, let’s not forget, Christians are to pattern their lives and practices after a man who lived over two thousand years ago, because he exemplified the perfect Christian life! So think of it this way, for Christians, innovation can be a good thing, but iteration is a virtue!

In the second article, Ed Stetzer, Executive Director of Lifeway Research, calls for Christians to engage in culture in at least three ways (some say more ways are possible, but that’s a discussion for another day.). Thankfully this article caused me to reevaluate how I currently engage culture, but as I read this article, honestly my greatest fear was realizing that many Christians are not engaging culture because they are too busy enjoying culture by participating in all its offerings and diversions.

Both of these articles steered me to the Scriptures and these seminal verses in James:

But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds . . . You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone. James 2:18, 24 (NIV)

May this remind all of us that what we do matters in so many ways!

RA

A Profound Answer Regarding Prayer

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Yesterday I came across an interview with Timothy Keller, author of the new book Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God. In that discussion, click here to read it all, the interviewer recalled a question Keller received earlier on twitter: “Why do you think young Christian adults struggle most deeply with God as a personal reality in their lives?” Keller response was profound: “Noise and distraction. It is easier to Tweet than pray!”

I thought about Keller’s response all day. How can that be? Could the reason people don’t have a meaningful relationship with the Creator of the universe be something so simple, so basic? But then when I began to look at my own life, and remembered two prominent values in our culture today, I realized the profound truth of that statement.

We live in a culture that abhors solitude and embraces distractions. In other words, we’re afraid to be alone, and we must always be busy! Ironically, Keller will declare in his book the two things needed for meaningful prayer are solitude and the Word of God. Did you catch that: to be successful at prayer means we must be counter-cultural because silence and a singular focus on the One your meeting with are essential for genuine communication with God.

May I ask you some of the questions I asked myself yesterday?

  • How noisy is your world?
  • Are you so distracted by the trivial things of the world that have such little value, yet they’re keeping you from the One who is to be valued above all?
  • Is it time to ‘unplug’ so you can ‘plug-in’ to the One you need to hear from?

I pray Keller’s words disturb you too today.

“And it was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God.”   Luke 6:12 (NASB)