The Dentist as Spiritual Discipline

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Aug 302012

An improved prayer life awaits!

Focusing on God is hard. It can be a real challenge to pray, read the bible, or even worship when there are so many things bouncing around in our brain.

That’s what I was thinking about recently, as I sat in the dentist’s chair, while the hygienist was cleaning my teeth.

There isn’t much to do when you’re sitting in that chair. My dentist has a TV on over the chair, but at eight o’clock in the morning there isn’t much on (there isn’t much on any other time, either, but that’s a different topic). I decided that, rather than just stare at the ceiling and clutching the arms of the chair, I would use this opportunity to practice my ability to focus on God. So I concentrated on relaxing my body, slowing my breathing, clearing the dentist’s office out of my mind, and just praying. It did make the cleaning a bit easier to bear, and I did have a decent prayer time, but I think the larger benefit was that I learned how to better center and focus. It wasn’t the most enjoyable way to learn how to pray better, but all of us go to the dentist, and the next time you do, you might as well pray through it. It’ll make your prayer life better, and that’s way more important than an extra thirty minutes of crappy TV.

People, Not Programs

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Aug 222012

I realized awhile back that when someone needed help, my brain automatically started thinking of programs that could help. And if I saw a need that wasn’t addressed by an existing program, I would think, “Someone should start a program for that.”   It’s how I was trained, and I think it’s how most of us are trained. Then one day I asked myself, “How many programs did Jesus start?”

I’ll give you a hint as to the answer: it rhymes with “Nero,” and it’s not “hero.”

Jesus never started a program, nor was he ever part of one. When Jesus saw a need, he met it, simple as that. I realized that day that I could, and should, do the same. Here’s an example: a few weeks ago, my friend Patti told me about a family that wasn’t able to buy school supplies. Once I found out about it, before I even knew what they needed, I put this on Facebook:

Then I got the list over email:

Please forgive the poor quality.

By then several people had chipped in, someone went shopping, and all that led to  me handing the supplies off to Patti last week:

So the next time you hear about a need, and you start thinking “program,” stop yourself. Think about how you can help, because Jesus doesn’t call us to start more programs to help people. Jesus calls us to just help them.

Aug 062012

As families get ready for the start of the school year, we take a look at how to live out our faith in another place where it is not always welcome: school. Yet school is an important part of every person’s life. So, where does Christian faith belong in school? How can students, of all ages, best live out their faith there? That’s our topic for this week.

Announcing My Next Film Project: BOXES

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Aug 012012

I’m very excited to announce my newest project, BOXES. This short film addresses homelessness from a unique angle, and is a collaboration with my friends Michael Buchanan and Jason Winn. This is my first short, and my first time being a producer, but I welcome the new challenges because I love what BOXES has to say about homelessness and the choices we all make.

Like Get Low, BOXES is an independent film. That means there will be no studio interference, so BOXES will stay true to our vision. It also means there are no studios to pay the bills, so we need your help to bring BOXES to life. Funds are being raised right now through Indiegogo, where you can also see what you get in return for different levels of sponsorship.

You can read more about BOXES, and donate securely online, by visiting our Indiegogo page here.