Archives For Firestarters

God detests the prayers of a person who ignores the law. — Proverbs 28:9 (NLT)

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“Thank you, God, I guess…”

When was the last time you said those words? How about this: when was the last time that your actions said those words? Last week I caught myself thinking essentially that very thought as I was looking through two weeks’ worth of mail and realized that I hadn’t missed a single bill or anything else of great import. I thanked God for protecting me from a seemingly little thing (my own procrastination, fueled by miserable road conditions), but then it occurred to me: there’s no money in my mailbox, either. Not that I was expecting any – most of my payments from clients are coming electronically right now – but this fact occurred to me and disappointed me. Also, there was this part of me that worried that perhaps something that I should have received hadn’t arrived. You know, like:

“It’s a gift, and a curse.”

God never gives us anything without taking something else away, right? And when He gives us a “break,” it’s just a well-disguised trial, correct? No, those statements are both wrong, and yet we often behave that way.

“You mean my car doesn’t need any repairs for an inspection sticker? Now I don’t dare make my next stop…”

God’s gifts come with no fine print and, as importantly, we are to praise Him even when there is some pain that accompanies a blessing. Why is it wrong to think “thank you, God, I guess…”? That’s simple: even if the good turns into a “bad,” we can rest in the knowledge that, ultimately, it’s still good. I don’t need to wonder if an important letter was misdirected because, if it was, it was all part of God’s plan. That doesn’t mean that I’ll enjoy the consequences, but He has it under control.

How about you? When did you last think, “Thank you, God, I guess…”?

Firestarter: Wonder

By Nate LaClaire —  November 11, 2010 — 2 Comments

I mentioned a few days ago that a friend has loaned me a couple of Don Miller’s books and that I have found them enlightening. Here’s a quote that caught my attention:

At the end of the day, when I am lying in bed and I know the chances of any of our theology being exactly right are a million to one, I need to know that God has things figured out, that if my math is wrong we are still going to be okay. And wonder is that feeling we get when we let go of our silly answers, our mapped out rules that we want God to follow. I don’t think there is any better worship than wonder.

– Donald Miller, in Blue Like Jazz (page 206)

I love that.

Do you take time to wonder?

A friend of mine recently loaned me two books by Donald Miller. I am enjoying the first of them, Blue Like Jazz, immensely. That’s probably why Lindsey Nobles’ October 22 blog post, The Best Thing I’ve Read This Week, caught my attention. The “best thing” referenced in that title is a post by Donald Miller entitled, Do You Have a Team of Good Life Editors? I am blessed by an excellent team of life editors, although I don’t often rely on them (or trust them) as much as I should. Reading this post got me thinking about how blessed I am in this area. I need to thank them and apologize for not following – or seeking – their advice as often as I should.

Do you have a team of good life editors?

Firestarters

By Nate LaClaire —  November 7, 2010 — 2 Comments

I’ve thought a lot about my blog recently and the need for either maintaining it, shutting it down, or fundamentally changing it. A thought came to me this morning and I’ve decided to follow through. I want to be posting something every week. I have lots of ideas, but lately I can’t seem to turn them into posts of substance. I have been tweeting and posting things on Facebook with much more regularity than I’ve been posting to my blog because of the difference between expectations for blogs and those for Facebook and Twitter. I don’t want to turn my blog into essentially a Twitter stream or Facebook wall, but am thinking that some short “thoughts” are bloggable (blog-able?) and might spark discussion or at least get others thinking. So, I’m introducing a new category to my blog: Firestarters. Firestarters will be short posts that either relate something that sparked my attention recently or something that I think might spark your attention. I still want to be writing more substantial posts as well, but those needn’t come every week.

Now, I should give you fair warning: in case you haven’t noticed, I have varied interests. Firestarters might relate to faith, music, politics, programming, health, reading, food, or just about anything else. You might not care about some new programming language, a “beautiful” code structure that someone showed me, a musical motive, a Latin phrase, a piece of scripture, or the benefits of bee pollen. That’s okay. I am and someone else out there must be. Who knows, one of my computer-hating acquaintances might become a programmer after seeing a gorgeous line of Groovy. :-) Firestarters are about getting me and you thinking. “Catalyst” might be too lofty a word, but maybe not in some cases.

Thanks for reading. I hope you’ll stick around for this experiment.

By the way, I have a book review and an audiobook review in the works as well. Stay tuned!