help, I’m drowning!

Greetings & happy Friday!

I read this yesterday & found it super helpful so I want to pass this along for your weekend thinking 🙂

This is from my pastor friend in CA, Joel Phillips – joelphillips

 

 

Shunned!

The Office’s Dwight Schrute enjoyed using the Amish technique of shunning people who were guilty of some kind of infraction.  Although I laugh when I watch this clip, something about it reminds of how people in the church treat others who have messed-up or fallen.

We can wrap it with all sorts of holy sounding language, like “holding them accountable,” or “stepping them down,” if we’re honest it’s really just shunning. I once heard a leader use the verse, “godly sorrow produces repentance” to justify being flat-out mean to someone under him who had sinned.

Condemnation, guilt, shame, never produces righteous results. Instead, they push people even further from God.  What’s weird is that there is a sick side to our souls that actually likes condemnation.  We feel like we deserve it, and as the guilt and shame mount within us, we think that it’s all a part of the process of getting back on track, and reinstating our good standing with God.

That’s not the gospel!

I could quote tons of scriptures that point to the fact that those who are in Christ are fully and permanently justified and declared righteous, but the passage I want to go to is the familiar story of Peter walking on the water, falling, and being rescued by Jesus.

So much has been said, preached, written about this story, but one key part of it is hardly ever referenced.  It’s the part when Peter got back in the boat.  There was no browbeating.  No heavy sighs.  No, “You’re all wet!” Here’s all we’re told,


“And when [Jesus and Peter] got into the boat, the wind ceased. Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, ‘Truly You are the Son of God.’” (Matthew 14:32–33)

 

I wish the church was more like that.  Somebody falls, Jesus saves them, they’re soaking wet from their mistakes, but they’re alive and the storm is over!  And as they come on board with us we worship God for how He saved them.  It reminds us of how he saved us, after all, we’ve all been wet at one time or another.

Going the extra mile

I find myself in some interesting positions from time to time in various relationships. Sometimes I can get frustrated & exasperated with different people because of some struggles with communication – and communication can be a really tricky topic. I have no doubt as well that I can also be frustrating & exasperating to people is well.
With that all being said, lets be mindful to go the extra mile in our relationships with patience, forgiveness, grace, gentleness & tender words & actions. I say this because I regularly find myself as the recipient of Gods abundant grace, gentleness & forgiveness – the extra mile 🙂

heavy grace

Sometimes I have these amazing “aha moments” when I see God doing really cool things and I also have times when these “aha moments” seem to have been vaporized by the crazy demands of a day or because of some really heavy duty disappointments.  Regardless of what is happening, how we feel or the various experiences in which we find ourselves, we swim in heavy grace.

Swimming in heavy grace:

  • embracing our lives,
  • giving us the air to breath:   what we haven’t earned
  • protecting us from drowning in the consequences that we deserve
  • amphibious living:  transforming our shortcomings to something more glorious
  • flooding into the crevices, corners and quagmires for redemption and hope

Dear sweet family, we swim in heavy grace 🙂

Changing & growing :)

I had an interesting conversation with someone yesterday that seemed to be really out of character for them. I found this interesting because I often believe that it’s impossible to change the spots on a leopard. The problem with this way of thinking is that I can get really rigid in my attitude toward various people & not allow them to change in my thinking.
This is a really big problem because this way of thinking entirely ignores the transforming power of Jesus’ redemption for us. People can & do change, so lets be full of gratitude that God isn’t only helping us to grow & change, but God is also working on other people with redemptive & transforming power. Lets give each other the gift of space & grace to grow & change 🙂

Full of Grace

I had an interesting conversation with a friend yesterday for whom I’ve been very concerned of late. It was interesting because they explained that they had been distant lately because of lots of different current stresses in their life. Then another friend told me that she was having a rough day earlier this week & almost broke down in tears on a particular day. Both of my friends are important to me & when they explained their struggles to me, I totally wanted to reach out & help not only after the struggle but also during their rough time. Just like me, these are very strong & independent friends & I wholly respect their strength. It’s interesting bc I think that God absolutely respects our free will & independence. But I also think that God wants to be involved in our struggles & not just watch from a distance. Lets be kind, gentle, full of grace & supportive with each other – thereby letting God love through us 🙂

I messed up :(

I hate it when I mess up & the bigger that I mess up, the more sick I get to my stomach. I hate it when I blow it & I’ve had my share of shortcomings & mistakes. I’ve been disrespectful to my husband (and repented), I’ve been insensitive w my words & hurt my friends, I’ve made selfish decisions & been called on the carpet for being selfish, and there are many more areas where I’ve messed up.
But here’s my encouragement for us: when Lot had messed up & was living in Sodom & having a conversations w God’s angels, they took him by the hand & let him away from destruction. There have been innumerable times when God has taken me by my hand & let me out of destruction. When this happens, I’m always humbled, grateful & my relationship w God always gets deeper & stronger. Be encouraged that when you mess up, God can take you by your hand & lead you out of destruction 🙂

ever feel impatient?

 Recently, I’ve been somewhat frustrated with one of my friends because they’ve made some very silly decisions that have had some fairly negative consequences.  I find myself being impatient with my friend & wanting them to change.  I’m trying to watch the words that I say to my friend, so that I don’t hurt their feelings due to my impatience.  So far, here’s my impatience insights:

  • if impatience is left unchecked, it can be very destructive
  • impatience isn’t only related to our words, but it also can affect our attitudes & actions, so that even if we don’t say anything, we must still remain vigilant against even its subtle expression
  • sometimes it helps to talk about how we feel, but its important to be responsible for our own feelings & not give someone else control of how we may feel or act
  • sometimes the best antidote to impatience is a slow, intentional & methodical application of patience
  • James 1:4 – let patience have her perfect work so that you may be mature & complete.  Give patience permission to work in your life 🙂