LIFE Nuggets

The purpose of this blog is Essentially to Chronicle our personal faith journey and that of a place that we call LIFE House West. Why Life Nuggets? Because Nuggets bring to mind a sense of fun and enjoyment, show me a child who is sad when they get to eat chicken nuggets..... Things like life, and following Jesus should be fun and we want to explore those things in a light hearted and fun way, so please, enjoy...

Location: Hagerstown, Maryland, United States

30 years old, married, Father of four children (2 boys, 2 girls) 2 cats and 3 dogs (black lab, english bulldog, and pug)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Way of a Pilgrim

Welcome back for another LIFE Nugget! Todays is a little different, I want to do a book review. I picked up the book, "The Way of a Pilgrim." two weeks age and have been taking my time and enjoying the book. Essentially the book is about one man's search for unceasing prayer. He travels around the nation of Russia in the late 19th century seeking people who can tell him about how to pray without ceasing. It is an interesting tale of one man's quest to find God and spend as much time in His presence as possible. Along the way he meets many interesting people and shares both Christ and what he has learned of prayer with them. On a whole I would recommend the book for anyone interested prayer and spending time in the presence of God.

What the Pilgrim, who remains anonymous, says has lead me to think a great deal on the subject of prayer and necessity in our lives. Romans 12:12 says that we should be constant in prayer and the book gives some good counsel on that. Can we build a constant dialogue with God into our lives? Can that be out goal?

Why not take some time this week to begin both to speak with God and listen to Him as well. It is certainly with the effort and you may be amazed at what the results will be.

Friday, April 17, 2009


Man what a great Easter weekend. Spending time in prayer on friday and then launching into communion on Easter was great. Thanks to all who brought friends to the gathering as we had 150 people there! Now that the update is out, I want to move onto a new LIFE Nugget. I want to talk a moment about something that seems to have been mistaken in modern American church. I want to talk about the Holy Spirit.

Yes we talk about the Spirit moving when we have a jumping church service, or when a bunch of people run to the altar to pray, but I find myself thinking that we need more. Well, perhaps not more, maybe we just need to refocus. You see, I feel that we have reduced the Holy Spirit to a sideshow. We only expect the Spirit to move in church services and we never think about the fact that he wants to live in us.

I feel that we have totally forgotten that our bodies are a dwelling place for Holy Spirit to reside in. Now let me say that this is not about legalism. This is not about checking a bunch of stuff off of your list of do's and don'ts. This is about union with God. Jesus told his disciples that when they Holy Spirit came that He would live in them. Imagine that, God living in them. The Incarnation was mystery enough, God becoming flesh, but this was different. This is God making his home in a person. Sadly, I think that we forget the profound nature of that concept because it has become simply a theological idea we agree with.

I feel that the day has come that it must again become part of our experience. A vibrant life with the Spirit, union with God. God dwelling in us. Do you ever take time to stop and think about that? Do you ever stop and wonder if you have made a good home for the God to dwell in? I have found myself thinking about this today and it has already altered some behavior today.

So why not take a moment and ponder the fact that your life can be unified and filled with God. That's a union that will change you forever.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Take Off the Grave Clothes

I just got home from a Good Friday prayer vigil. It has been a great day. People coming in and out, spending time in prayer and worship. During that time I had a thought. When Jesus rose triumphant from the grave, he left behind the grave clothes.

Grave clothes were "the last suit you would ever wear." The stuff that wrapped dead bodies in early Jewish culture. The grave clothes that Jesus left behind represent the sins of the world which he came to cleanse us of. They represent the violence of his death, the mockery and scorn that he endured on the cross. He rose triumphant over those things. He left them behind.

Whether we want to admit or not, many of us are wearing them right now. Our grave clothes are the things in our lives that stifle our spirits and lead us to death. Like Jesus there are things that we need to leave behind. What are your grave clothes? It is time for them to come off. Time to leave them behind and embrace the full life that Christ wants you to live.

Have a blesses Easter

Thursday, April 09, 2009

What Did Jesus Die For?

Tomorrow is Good Friday. A day that for me typically involves a great deal of contemplation and thanksgiving. It is the day that Jesus died on the cross. I have spent this week thinking about that event and it's implications. What I have been asking myself is why? Why do all this, why go through it all. Ultimately I know the answer to that question, but I think that answer has become blurred for so many people.

If we were to look at what churches do and derive an answer of why Jesus died from our actions, then I think that "why" would be answered very differently. Answers could sound like this:

Jesus died so we could meet in fancy buildings
Jesus died so we could create cheesy patronizing slogans for t-shirts, bumper stickers, and alliterated sermons
Jesus died so we could argue about music styles
Jesus died so we could go protest for our pet causes and change laws that suit our political interest
Jesus died so we could vote the right way
Jesus died so we could have denominations, then when we don't like the ones we are in, make a new ones
Jesus died so we could write self help books in his name
Jesus died so we could manipulate people for selfish ends
Jesus died so we could be great leaders and write books about we do it
Jesus died so we could get rich
Jesus died so we could build empires

I could go on and on. However, lest you think that I am just pointing the finger at everyone else, I have been guilty of stuff like this in the past. I am still a work in progress.

Historically, things were not much different in the world that Jesus stepped into. There were empires, religious institutions, political problems, class envy, selfish people, etc. It all had different names but those people dealt with the same problems we face today. What I love about Jesus is that he came into the world with a radically different agenda.

Jesus came to:
provide forgiveness of sins
preach the good news to the poor
proclaim freedom to those captive to sin
help the spiritually blind recover their sight
to heal the sick
to show us the way back to God and announce that way as open for everyone

As I prepare for another Easter weekend to come I find myself compelled to reaffirm that the agenda that Jesus is my agenda. That his priorities are really my priorities, that my life look more and more like his. As you head into Easter weekend, take some time to look at your life and reaffirm your devotion to Jesus and his plan for your life. The radical, God pursuing lifestyle that he has called you to live is far better than the alternatives we create.