Archive for the ‘Thursday Thots’ Category

Thursday Thots | Touch A Shark

Posted: April 26, 2012 by Rich Landosky in Thursday Thots, Uncategorized

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So its Wednesday and I’m on a field trip with Dean’s class @ the Adventure Aquarium in Camden. As I watch The Boy and the other kids reach in to touch the sharks, I am intrigued at how intimidated they are at first and how they can’t get enough within just a few minutes. Most of these kids are so scared to stick their hands in at first, but after doing it a few times they realize there’s nothing to it and its no big deal.

The reactions of these kids reminds me of the way so many of us are with sharing our faith. We’re scared the first time and may even let the shark pass by a few times before we finally get up the courage to actually touch it, or in this case, share our faith. But after a few times, it gets so much easier and almost natural.

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Thursday Thots | Still

Posted: April 12, 2012 by Rich Landosky in Thursday Thots

I my morning devotions in the book of Psalms yesterday, I read this verse ::

“Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him;” – Psalm 37:7a

I’m no good at the “still” thing.  I admittedly don’t leave enough margin in my life.  And I don’t say “no” very well very often.  But even when I try to be “still” my mind starts going and the to-do lists start quickly being added to.  My prayer this week is Psalm 37:7 – that I would learn to be still before God and wait patiently for Him. I don’t ever want to be so busy that I miss hearing from Him, that I miss seeing what He is doing around me, that I miss what is really going on with my wife and kids, that I run ahead of Him and doing everything in my own strength.

So that’s my prayer this week.  My guess, seeing many of your lives, is that it is a prayer you need prayed for your lives as well.  So, I’m going to do just that.  If you want me to specifically pray for you by name in this regard, leave a comment and let me know.  May we all learn to practice Psalm 37:7.

Thursday Thots | The Internet

Posted: March 29, 2012 by Rich Landosky in Thursday Thots

Here’s another great piece written by Ridge Burns, the keynote speaker the first Sunday at our Missions Conference.

THE INTERNET
by Ridge Burns

I’m amazed at how dependent I have become on the Internet. In fact, I am almost willing to say I’m not sure I can live without it. I know that sounds silly, and certainly if I didn’t have it, I could get along, but I’ve gotten used to it.

Recently I was scheduled to be on a video chat with four other people to discuss an important topic. I had gotten up early to go to a small town where I was told there was a great connection at a coffee shop. I got up early, went to the coffee shop, got a Danish and coffee to enjoy before the meeting, and tried to connect to the Internet. Guess what? It was down. There was no way to connect to this meeting.

My hot coffee quickly became a problem as I had to juggle it as I was quickly gathering my stuff so that I could hopefully find another connection to join this meeting. I found myself driving around this little town, looking for an unsecured Internet connection. I found one in back of a local bar, and was soon sitting in my parked car, connected to this closed establishment but able to join my meeting.

I was desperate. I had to find a connection.

Then it dawned on me that that’s exactly the position God wants us to be in. He wants us to be desperate for him, to connect with him, to gain our power and strength and ability to perform our duties by connecting with who He is through the power and the gift of the Holy Spirit.

The Internet serves as a reminder of our dependency on God. We do things on our own strength. We share our testimonies, and we perform our duties based on what we think is the best, but how much more power is there when we connect to the person and the work of the Holy Spirit? I’ve learned that in the same way that I was desperate to find that connection to give me the ability to communicate with the other people who were in this meeting, I need to be that desperate to connect with our Lord Jesus Christ through the power and the work of the Holy Spirit.

Thursday Thots – Re-post of Eyes Locked

Posted: March 22, 2012 by Rich Landosky in Thursday Thots

I originally posted this back on October 20, 2009. It was something Perry Noble, a pastor down in NC, wrote. I thought it was worth sharing again.

Eyes LOCKED!
by Perry Noble

I took Charisse to her crib the other night–but before I put her down I decided to spend a few minutes with her in the rocking chair. I am not even sure what I was saying–but all of a sudden she opened her eyes really big and just stared at me.

To be honest–I got lost in that moment. She didn’t look away–she didn’t even hardly blink–she just stared right at me and I nearly melted right there. There is NOTHING that pleases a father more than when he has the undivided attention of his child. I will have to say that up until this point it was probably the most special time I have had with just she and I…and I felt SO connected with her.

Walking out of her room down the steps I felt the Lord whisper to me, “Hey Perry, that is what I want with you! Not some ritual…but an intimate connection.”

From time to time I get caught up in “having a quiet time” just to say I had one? Sure, a verse or two will stand out to me…but if I am not careful I will forget that my time with God in the mornings isn’t about a spiritual to do list–it is about a connection…a connection that I need and God wants.

God doesn’t want our lip service–He wants our undivided attention. And that is SO hard in today’s society–everything competes with our time with Him…ESPECIALLY technology. I just know that what I experienced with my daughter was REAL…and the Lord used it in my life to show me that I need to take my walk with Him to the next level!

Then I was reminded of Jesus–the Bible says in Luke 5:16 that He often withdrew to lonely places and prayed–translation–He got alone and LOCKED EYES with His Father…amazing! We see this again in Mark 1:35 where the Bible says that the first thing in the morning Jesus went to a solitary place to lock eyes with His Father…and the result was direction and power. (See Mark 1:36-39)

BUT–I believe the most intimate and challenging time Jesus had with the Father was in the garden of Gethsemane where we see Him praying in Matthew 26:36-45 one of THE most unselfish, sold out prayers EVER recorded in history. Translation–when we LOCK EYES with the Father there is NOTHING that we are not willing to do for Him!
My prayer lately has been that I will have my eyes LOCKED–focused on Him! It blows my mind that He wants that–and I know I need it!!! I never want to merely offer God lip service–He knows my heart. My desire is to LOCK EYES with Him and then to do whatever He asks…how about you?

Thursday Thots

Posted: March 15, 2012 by Rich Landosky in Thursday Thots

The keynote speaker kicking off our Missions Conference this past Sunday was Ridge Burns, Executive Director at InFaith (formerly AMF). Ridge nailed it in both of his message on Sunday.  I’ve “known” Ridge for about 26 years.  I would read his books and articles on youth ministry when I was first starting out (when I had Fred & Barney’s kids in my youth group).  I really got to personally know Ridge a couple of years ago when I had the privilege of going to Catalyst with David Pennington, Ridge, and some of the rest of the leadership at InFaith.  We had a great time talking and thinking about leadership, missions, etc. Shortly after that I started reading Ridge’s blog.  And that’s what I want to leave you all with today as our Thursday Thot.  Ridge published a blog post this week that has caused me to pause and think and re-evaluate my life each time I’ve read it (about three times now).  Where are you in this area?

Grasshopper Minds

from Ridge’s Blog by Ridge Burns
 In his book The Practice of the Presence of God, Brother Lawrence talks about grasshopper minds. It’s this problem that we have when we pray and discipline ourselves to listen to the voice of God. Our mind wanders; it seems to interfere with our fellowship with God when we begin to think about things that are distracting to our learning about Him.

Brother Lawrence says that we need to confess this fault to God and humble ourselves before Him, aware that to treat Him casually is the final blasphemy of our Creator God. He speaks about the casualness of how we approach prayer and allow our minds to wander, and he gives us some good advice. He says later on in that section that one way to improve your mental concentration during prayer is to improve it at other times, as well. It’s a healthy exercise to practice control over our wandering thoughts.

If there’s a discipline that oftentimes we lack in our whole lives, it’s to really, seriously concentrate and really, seriously humble ourselves in the presence of God. Brother Lawrence goes on to say something very exciting: Fix your thoughts on Him, whether you speak or keep quiet. Watch for God’s every move.

When I read that, I thought, That is so unlike me. I want God to bless what I’m doing; I want God to be fully cognizant and aware of my actions. But God moves, and we need to be aware of His movement and His speaking. We anticipate it, and we watch for it.

Recently, I picked up RobAnne from the airport, and those of us who were waiting for passengers had to stand behind a door where you couldn’t see down the hall. The door would open, and we’d be trying to get a glimpse of who was coming down the hall. We’d look quickly until the door would shut, and I was watching for her. Every movement of that door was important. Every voice I heard could be hers. And I remember when she walked through that door, how excited I was. That’s what Brother Lawrence says we need to do when we pray – anticipate and be watchful about the very movement of God.

Thursday Thots | 03.08.12

Posted: March 8, 2012 by Rich Landosky in Thursday Thots

I’ve been reflecting on something Tim Schmoyer said at our HS Winter Weekend.  Jenn Phipps recently wrote on this briefly on her blog.  “We are called to act out of who we are; not how we feel — just as our Heavenly Father does.”

That of course begs the questions: Who are we?  If we’re called to act out of who we are, we first must know who we are, or maybe more importantly, whose we are.

Remember, if we’ve accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, then we are children of God. We were once children of darkness. Now we are children of the Light.  We are called to act as children of Light – not darkness.  Why would we want to continue to act any other way?  I am reminded of what the Apostle Paul said in Romans:

1 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?

4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
5 If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin– 7 because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.

18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.

Let us live as though who are free, who are slaves to righteousness, and, with God’s help, let us act out of who we are; not how we feel.

Asleep In The Light

Posted: September 15, 2010 by Rich Landosky in HSM, MSM, Rich's Random Ramblings, The Journey, Thursday Thots

Several weeks ago while I was on vacation, I sent a tweet out saying that we were going to turn up the heat this year on evangelism.  As I spent time with the Lord on vacation, I felt Him laying on my heart that we needed to get more serious about reaching the lost with the Gospel.  Last year I think we successfully turned up the heat on serving.  We had a lot of you actively involved in many of our AWOLs – service projects, servant teams and missions experiences.  I am proud of our group the way we have started exercising our gifts, talents and abilities for God’s glory.

I think The Church tends to falls into one or both of two dangers way too easily.  The first is focusing so much of our attention on “us” that we completely lose sight of the world outside of our church walls.  The second is focusing so much of our attention on missions around the world that we fail to see those dying right next door to us.  And that’s where I believe God wants us to look this year.  Not at the expense of the rest of the world “over there” nor at the expense of building solid and authentic community here with other Believers.  All three are equally important.

I heard Keith Green – a former Christian musician who died in the 90s –  say, “There are still billions who don’t know Jesus Christ yet.  It’s either God’s fault that they don’t know about Jesus yet or ours.”  Those words struck me.  Honestly, God could easily reveal His love for us through His Son in a moment, in an instant, without our getting in the way.  But He doesn’t.  He has chosen to use us as the vehicle in which to share the Gospel with the world.  Why?  I think I’ll save that for next week.  Suffice it to say that it isn’t God’s fault that billions don’t know yet which means it must be our fault.

So, the question remains – what are you going to do to reach those around you with the Gospel?  Listen to Keith Green’s song “Asleep In the Light” set to pictures in the video after the jump.  Then in the comment section, leave the name or names of some of the people around you that you are going to try to share the Gospel with in the coming weeks and months.  We can all be praying for each other as we get serious about reaching others with the love of Jesus.