Martyschmidt’s Weblog

A Joyful Journey

Experiencing the Spirit April 10, 2009

Filed under: Resources — martyschmidt @ 4:32 pm

experiencing-the-spiritExperiencing the Spirit is the third book in a three book series (Experiencing the Cross and Experiencing the Resurrection) by Henry & Melvin Blackaby. They are most known for their work Experiencing God which is a study book everyone should do.

This book targets the question “why aren’t we turning the world upside down like the early church.” Experiencing the Spirit is broken up into three parts. The first part, “Gift of the Spirit in the Heart and Mind of God” and the second part, “Gift of the Spirit in the Life of the Lord Jesus” laid a theological foundation of the work of the Spirit prior to Pentecost. The author systematically lays out the work of the Spirit and opens the readers eyes to what has always been a part of scripture but perhaps not seen as the work of the Spirit.

Part three of the book, “Power of the Spirit in the Believers Experience” is the heart of the book. My favorite quote of the book comes at the front end of this section when they say, “If we seek the gifts of the Spirit and not the Holy Spirit Himself, we’ll always focus on self. We must learn to understand that there are no gifts apart from an intimate relationship with the Spirit. And the work of the Spirit is directly connected to the lordship of Christ in our lives.” The idea of the Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit has long been a volatile topic in the church and I believe that is often the case because we neglect to choose the above quote as the foundation for the conversations. Those who believe the Spirit is void of voice and action today are missing out on what Christ foretold and promised and at the same time those who are frantically pursuing the gifts are being selfish. Further Blackaby points out that the gifts aren’t ours – they are His. They are given out of his wisdom and for His purpose. We need to recognize that the Spirit is speaking and is in a sense wooing us to a deeper understanding and relationship with Christ Jesus.

For those who have not been raised in a setting that talks about who the Holy Spirit is and His work in our life this is a great book. With a strong biblical approach the Blackaby’s are able to advise what we are able to do in the strength and power of the Holy Spirit. To purchase this book at amazon click here.

 

Prayer Idea Number 2 April 9, 2009

Filed under: Resources — martyschmidt @ 11:29 am

Prayer is very spacial. The where matters. Your environment can be a catalyst or a hindrance. Your ideal centering place to be with Got may not resonate with someone else but that is ok. Prayer Idea Number 2 is this:

Identify a specific place to pray

There are a couple things that can happen by repetitiously praying in the same area.

  • A greater measure of the presence of God can be built – sort of like creating a holy place. In the old testament God would command people to take off their shoes because the place where they were standing was Holy. It was Holy because God was there in a unique and greater way. By consistently praying in the same place you are in a sense opening a greater window into heaven here on earth.
  • You are creating knee jerk reactions. When someone throws something near me my knee jerk reaction is to try and catch. When I smell chex mix I want to eat it right away. When I hear a song “Crash” from the Dumb and Dumber soundtrack I immediately feel like hopping into a geo metro and delivering some pizza’s. By using the same place you are building up some knee jerk reactions to pray. You enter the place and your natural response is to pray.

But there is a second angle on this. Call it Prayer Idea Number 2b

Don’t be limited to a specific place to pray

If we are only comfortable or capable of praying in a certain place, with a certain environment, with the right song on, and enough sleep, and all the ducks are in a row we will never pray. Often times the best place to pray is right where you are. This week I have marveled at the number of times the Lord has prompted me to pray while shooting hoops with Toby.

Your thoughts on how to create a place to pray?

 

Prayer Idea Number 1 April 6, 2009

Filed under: Resources — martyschmidt @ 5:17 pm

I will be offering an idea a day for those of you who are looking for ideas in how to accomplish your prayer commitment.

Idea number one isn’t grand but it I believe it removes one of the biggest barriers to praying.

Go to bed earlier so you can get up earlier

It doesn’t matter if it is one hour or ten minutes. Setting your alarm for an earlier time than usual is daunting if you are rolling into bed around 11:15. But what if you were in bed by 10:00pm. You can joyously set that alarm for 30 minutes less sleep and still get an extra 45 minutes of sleep. I believe the enemy is more able to have his way with us the more tired we are. Part of establishing a healthy prayer life is establishing a healthy life and that means getting enough sleep. Many of us are running on fumes of exhaustion. Go to bed earlier! Part two of this idea is get up earlier. This time is all yours. You get to dictate what happens with it. You can choose to give it to God and spend time talking with Him. My experience is that when I do this he multiplies the hours of my day even though they are the same as everyone else. I can’t explain it but it just seems to work that way. So sometime this week go to bed earlier and get up earlier and use some of that extra time praying. In the words of Bill Hybels title book, you are “too busy not to pray.”

 

Top Reads First Quarter April 2, 2009

Filed under: Resources — martyschmidt @ 5:01 pm

We are a quarter of the way through 2009 and these are my best reads thus far.

1. Leading on Empty – This is the third book I have read by Wayne Cordeiro and to be honest the first two didn’t really resonate with me and I wasn’t all that excited to read it. However, it turns out that it was the perfect read at the perfect time for me. Not only did it allow me to see certain things in my life that were setting me up for burnout but it also offered some valuable tools that will hopefully protect me from getting empty so fast. I have since adopted many new things which include a new calendar system, bible reading plan, journal time, and monthly retreat day.

2. The Prodigal God – Not only was this book insightful but it also served as the cataylst for landing our May series which is entitled, “Pop up Parable.”

3. The War of Art – A very unusual book written by the same guy who wrote “The Legends of Baggar Vance.” Most of this book dealt with “resistance” and what it is and why it exists and how we can move through it and live out who we are created to be.

4. Sheet Music – Yep!

5. Praying in Color – A simple book with a simple approach to prayer. Simple can be very powerful and that is what praying in color has been for me.

The just missed – The Furious Longing, Tribes, and Sex God (would have been number one but this is the third time I’ve read it)

 

Clutter Free Christianity Review March 28, 2009

Filed under: Resources — martyschmidt @ 1:48 pm

clutter-free-christianityThe subtitle What God Really Desires for You jumped out at me. I mean wouldn’t it be awesome if we could nail down that answer. Don’t we all want to get it right but wonder in the back of our minds if we are getting it right from time to time?

 

So this is what I found/learned/enjoyed/pondered:

  • Clutter Free is a quick read that has everything to do with the heart
  • What God desires is your heart! You can play by all the rules but miss the boat completely by not giving God your heart
  • Within you lies potential
  • Many of us adhere to belief without obedience
  • Living like Christ is desirable but we believe it is out of our reach
  • Our heart represents us
  • Grace and effort our allies
  • Everyone says forgiveness is a good idea until they have someone to forgive – cs lewis quote
  • Trusting God provides freedom in our lives
  • Being at peace with the circumstances of our life is the only way to be at peace with others

I really resonated with the idea of a forgiving heart, obeying heart, trusting heart, and serving heart. Prior to reading this book I believed what God really desired of us was our heart and reading this book brought even greater clarity to that.

If you would like to get this book it is available at random house here.

 

The Phone Debate Continues March 10, 2009

Filed under: Resources — martyschmidt @ 3:11 pm

Well it has come down to this. I’m wondering what my friends think.

Do I get this phone in three weeks – read about phone here

htc-touch-pro-02

or do I get this phone in about 6 months?

iphone

Also weight into this that I’m pretty sure I will be getting a mac book within the next 6 months.

For those who are wondering where the money for all of this is coming from – You have no idea how many birthdays and Christmas I’ve been saving up for this! This is delayed gratification at its finest!

 

Hello Twitter! February 19, 2009

Filed under: Leadership,Resources — martyschmidt @ 3:51 pm

twitter

Yes Tweet fans…it is true that I have set up an account. The full launch is still a few weeks away as I am waiting on my new phone. I’m getting pumped and looking forward to the fun.