Showing posts from June, 2012

Trying to put a leash on God

The Bible says, "The people were delighted with Jesus, so they brought out a collar and a leash to put on him so he would belong to them." Okay, the Bible doesn't literally say that. But it's the picture the Scriptures paint. 
If we are honest, we try to do that very thing. Today's meditation on Scripture points out a dark trait we all share: we attempt to tame an untameable God.
I'll pick up the story in Luke 4, where Jesus has just left his hometown of Nazareth and come to the nearby town of Capernaum. He is just beginning his official ministry. To this point, he has been teaching in the synagogues around the area. He has not yet done a single miracle. He is attracting attention, but his ministry is about to blow up.
Jesus goes to Capernaum. The NIV translation says that Jesus teaches the people on the Sabbath (4:31) -- like it's a one-day thing. In Greek, the wording is "on the Sabbaths" -- plural. In other words, Jesus is there for weeks, te…

Paying "continuous partial attention" to people

Are you really paying attention to people or are you tuned in just enough not to miss anything important?

Today while reading Samuel Chand's book Cracking Your Church's Culture Code, I came across the following quote about listening. It's worth paying attention to... if you can! (You'll see what I mean by that as you read below.)

Chand quotes Linda Stone, formerly of Apple and Microsoft, who coins the term continuous partial attention:
To pay continuous partial attention is to pay partial attention - CONTINUOUSLY. It is motivated by a desire to be a LIVE node on the network. Another way of saying this is that we want to connect and be connected. We want to effectively scan for opportunity and optimize for the best opportunities, activities, and contacts, in any given moment. To be busy, to be connected, is to be alive, to be recognized, and to matter. We pay continuous partial attention in an effort NOT TO MISS ANYTHING. It is an always-on, anywhere, anytime, any place…

The difference between contentment, complacency, and complaining

I was talking with a friend the other day, and the notion of contentment entered the conversation. As he was saying, "I want to be content with what I have," I was thinking, "Me too, although 'contentment' can be a cover for complacency."

Let me explain. Someone might decide not to work too hard at bettering themselves physically, vocationally, spiritually, and so on. It's like the guy who finally lands a spouse and then lets himself go. He thinks, "I am good now. I will just be content with this. I don't have to work on myself anymore." Or like the person who starts a relationship with God and then essentially does the same thing. "Me and Jesus are good. I am content with my spiritual life. I don't need to work on this too much." That is false contentment. It is another word for complacency. And Jesus was absolutely opposed to complacency.

It occurred to me today that true contentment is an act of worship. It is saying to God…