A Different Kind of Prayer



In my Intro to Ministry class yesterday one of my professors, Dean, taught about something that I had never realized existed.  He taught about prayers of lament.  It is the most common genre of the psalms and I can’t remember ever praying a prayer of lament.  Basically this type of prayer is just telling God how you’re not happy with the situation you’re in.  I always thought that we weren’t supposed to complain to God, but it turns out that it’s ok.  The psalms are filled with these prayers of frustration and sadness.  Psalm 13 is the main example Dean used in class.  Basically David is asking God how much longer he’s going to have to deal with all of this crap in his life.  At the end of the psalm he does say that he still puts his trust in God, but he complains to God quite a bit.  I had read this psalm before, but had never thought about praying a prayer like that to God.  I’ll be honest, I’ve been pretty hacked off at God before asking why this happened or why that happened, but I’ve never thought about praying to God like that.  I’m going to give it a whirl because now I’m pretty sure that it’s ok to talk to God about the crap that is happening and how you don’t like it.  I wouldn’t say that cursing God is ok, but definitely admitting that you don’t understand what’s going on is healthy.  As long as your hope, trust, and joy are in Him, it’s all good.  So I’ll give it a shot.  Just trying to keep living and learning.


Not Perfect and that’s OK

I’ve known for a while now that I’m not perfect.  It took some time to realize it, and a little longer to come to grips with it.  I was bound to admit it sometime because there was just to much overwhelming evidence of that fact to ignore it.  A lot of people for my entire life have told me, “God’s got an incredible plan for you,” and, “I can’t wait to see what God does in your life.”  I took this the wrong way.  Though I never would have admitted it, I felt that I had more potential than everybody else.  This was such a flawed view.  Yes, God does have a plan for me, and I can’t wait to see what God does in my life either, but I’m a major screw-up.  For instance, just an hour ago I was bringing in one of those 24 packs of bottled water to the dorm, and I dropped the whole package from above my head.  Two girls driving by saw the debacle and were literally pointing and laughing at me.  In fact, pretty much any situation involving one or more attractive girls leads to complete, utter awkwardness and embarrassment.  And I mess up in my spiritual life pretty frequently as well.  It is not something that I am incredibly proud of, but my point is that God can use me to help others even with all of my problems.  That is the beauty of the community known as the church.  I’ll be honest, there are a lot of things that I don’t like about church.  It tends to be hypocritical and self-serving at times, and then there are my little reasons like having to get up on Sunday morning.  I don’t go to church for the preacher, I don’t go to church for the worship time, and I don’t go to church for the free coffee; I go to church for the people.  Everyone there has crap in their lives, and that’s ok.  What amazes me is the great things that happen when the church really makes itself open to God.  Donald Miller had a great post on his blog (www.storylineblog.com) this past week about the church entitled, “How and Why I Stay in the Dysfunctional Family of God.”  Go check it out if you’ve got some time on your hands.  Basically Miller lays out his reasoning for still being a part of the church.  He has got some really good points, and I would highly recommend reading his blog regularly.  The church is not only an instrument that God can do incredible things through, too often we forget that we are Christ’s bride.  No relationship is perfect, and our relationship with Him certainly isn’t, but that doesn’t mean it can’t improve.  God is working and will do great things if we’re open to Him.  In the Bible God used a st-st-stutterer, an adulterer, a murderer, a terrorist, and even a prostitute to do His will.  Shoot, God even spoke through Balaam’s…um…donkey.  So, in conclusion, let’s keep our eyes open to what God has to do in the world around us.

10 Less Interesting/Important Things

Well I know that most of you readers are probably a little skeptical as to why you should spend time out of your busy days reading my blog.  You may have a family.  You may have a Job.  You may have bills to pay.  You may even have your own blog.  I get it.  So I have come up with 10 things that are not as entertaining as this blog.  They are as follows:

1.  A Tyler Perry television show.  I don’t know if I don’t get the jokes because I’m white or what, but it just seems like a massive waste of time.  Read this instead.

2.  A Women’s Sporting Event.  Let’s be honest here for a second, the stuff is just boring.  Many would make an argument for Beach Volleyball, which may be the only exception.  Other than that, unless you are romantically interested in one of the competitors, Read this instead.

3.  The Paper/Project/Report/etc you are working on.  Deep in your heart you must know that there will always be a be a better time to do that later.  Read this instead.

4.  Sitting In Traffic.  Let me be clear, I am not advising whipping your smartphone out on the highway.  Stop somewhere, wait for the traffic to die down, and Read this instead.

5.  Hitting the Tanning Bed.  You know that stuff gives you cancer.  The only thing Brown can do for you is give you cancer.  You will still have the same abandonment/daddy/self-esteem issues even if your skin is the color of the crayon kids use in Sunday School to color the cross.  Read this instead.

6.  Updating your MySpace.  That is an incredibly 2006 thing to do.  If you still update your MySpace, get off this blog go to MySpace and delete it.  “AIN’T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT!”  Read this instead.

7.  Play a Card Game called “Munchkin.”  Odds are you don’t know what that game is.  Murph (my roommate mentioned in the last post) loves it, and he tried to teach me to play one time.  Bottom Line: STAY AWAY.  Read this instead.

8.  Listen to Your Physics Professor Brag About Himself.  This situation may not apply to all of you or even most, but I’m going to be reading this blog a lot before the end of this semester.  Read this instead.

9.  Watching Youtube Cover Bands.  Every once in a while you may run into a decent rendition of a popular song, but the solid majority of the time you are listening to pure unadulterated crap.  Read this instead.

10.  Blogging.  It is so hard to write a blog worth reading, in fact I commend you for suffering all the way through this post.  Why keep track of your own thoughts when you can keep track of someone else’s.  Just Kidding, I fully endorse blogging, but Read this instead.

Well there you have it, I just gave you a list of 10 things that are not as interesting/exciting as this blog.  Read this instead.

Entry No. 1

Hello Readers, those of you dedicated to my writings likely have become incredibly familiar with the blog entitled “Real Talk” (especially because of there only being two postings total).  Well I’m back, and I can’t say that this will be similar at all.  It has been about 7 months since my last post on that blog, and a lot has changed in that span of time.  I’ve been to Europe and back, my brother Jonathan has moved to Houston, and I’m sitting in my dorm room writing this, so it has certainly been an exciting several months.  I have had encounters with people who have challenged me, countless awkward moments (you will see those are not rarities), and have made some important life decisions.  I have decided to major in Bible with a concentration on Youth Ministry.  I can’t really give a lot of reasons why other than I do sense that I am being called.  In the fall semester it was amazing the way I saw God move in my life; I always was a little weirded out by the way people say things like that, but lo and behold I have become one of those people.  I feel that God has spoken to me a lot through my friends and am amazed everyday at the way God works.  I don’t get it at all but He really does love me, a lot.  I’ve read some amazing books, none of which more amazing than the Bible, and have really become what I consider to be a pretty open-minded person.  A little over a week ago I finished reading “Love Does” by Bob Goff, which really has changed my overall outlook on what loving people looks like.  God really spoke to me through one of the chapters and that is a big reason I have made the decision to head to Ukraine for a little while this summer.  A guy at my church, his name’s Joel, has been heading a group that goes over there to help orphans every summer for several years now.  He asked me to really think and pray about going along this summer.  Even though I had interviewed with several Youth Ministers for internship positions, I just really felt like that was something that I needed to do this summer.  So I’m going.  Don’t know what to expect, but I know God’s going to do something awesome.  I’m also really excited to be going to the Dallas/Fort Worth area on Spring Break.  My roommate Matt, I commonly refer to him as Murph, told me about the trip and it just felt right to get on board.  You’ll be hearing more about the trip as we get closer to departure.  Anyways a lot has happened, and for the sake of this blog and my readers hopefully God’s going to do some crazy stuff.