30 August 2008


It seems that convictions are curious beasts -- sometimes shoring us up and making us feel strong and protected while being embraced, and at other times costing us in ways that can be hard to measure at first, but which in the end have a cost greater than what we might anticipate. But the bottom line is that all of us must live by the convictions we hold, and that in a way hold us. Time tell us whether our convictions and the decisions they give birth to makes us feel ...

1. More shored up
in our relationship with others, ourselves, and God ... or ...
2. More dismantled in our relationship with others, ourselves, and God.

Strangely, I've discovered that sometimes when I think my convictions and decisions will result in # 1 being true, I then discover that they've left me standing squarely in front of # 2.

And conversely, when I've thought that my convictions and decisions will result in # 2, I've sometimes then discovered that I've been left holding onto # 1. Of course it doesn't always turn out in this flip-flop manner -- but it happens just often enough that I can really feel beat up by doubts and second-guessing what decisions. Neither of which are any good.

I am learning, however, that I can't allow my convictions and decisions to stand in the way of the relationships and friendships I have with the people I love ... and that when this threat looms on the horizon, that I must take the high road, lay down "my rights" to be heard, to convince, and even to even to some measure, to discuss ... for the sake of moral civility.

To use the old cliche, I'm not "willing to think I've won the war just because I've won one battle." Life is bigger, deeper, wider, and more complex than that. And I'm just trying to keep a hold of Jesus' hand while I walk through it ... manifesting His character, His thoughts, His words, and His actions. Easier said than done, right? Right. Godspeed.



05 August 2008


One of the things that helps us keep our focus and our footing in life is to uncover and nurture an attitude of gratitude. Celebrate Recovery (www.celebraterecovery.com) is a ministry of healing discipleship that helps people move toward living in this place of thankfulness and surrender. Here are some thoughts about Principle 7 of Celebrate Recovery's 8 Principles ...


Reserve a daily time with God for
self-examination, Bible reading, and prayer
in order to know God and His will for
my life and to gain the power to follow His will.

Why daily? Because we live life daily. Read more about this "Mana Principle" in EXODUS 16.

Why with God? Because God is our source and power.

Why self-examination? Because without honesty there is is no new growth … and without new growth there is stagnation … and with stagnation comes death.

No new growth = stagnation
Stagnation = death
Growth = fresh move of God
Maturity = fresh vision from God

Why Bible reading? Because it’s God’s primary way of speaking to us. If we don’t believe this we’re deluding ourselves and opening ourselves up to be hurt not guarded, lost not guided, and uprooted not grounded.

Why prayer? Because prayer is conversation … and without conversation our life with God grows distant and cold.

Why know God’s will? Because this is the path we’re to walk as His followers. And if we’re not taking on the character of Jesus Christ, we won’t be equipped to live into the will of God with consistency and power.

God’s power? Related to us being in the WORD, be
coming people of prayer, surrender and learning to stop depending on ourselves.

In JOHN 5:15 Jesus Christ says, “Apart from Me you can do nothing." And in PHILIPPIANS 4:13 the Apostle Paul says, “Through Christ Jesus I can do all things.”

To follow God’s will? There’s a very big difference between KNOWING GOD’S WILL and KNOWING AND FOLLOWING GOD’S WILL. Let’s learn to do God’s will, God’s way.

Without LISTENING there is no true SURRENDER.
Without SURRENDER there is no true SACRIFICE.
Without SACRIFICE there is no true WORSHIP.
Without true WORSHIP there is no true VISION.
Without true VISION there is no true POWER.