Monthly Archives: January 2011

Getting Beyond Guilt (via Yesterday Lucas)

This is a great sermon from our friend (and former pastor) Steve Lucas. It was a great listen on my walk this morning. It also brought to mind a question asked by another one of our pastor friends, Dan Gould:

QUESTION: When was the last time you were saddened because your sin pained the Holy Spirit? Check it Eph 4:30

Good and convicting stuff to start my day!

Getting Beyond Guilt Yesterday I preached at the Pura Vida Baptist Church in Atenas. It's an English-speaking church, and their pastor has been having some health problems, so they asked me to fill in for a few weeks. After some prayer, I decided to share a message I wrote 5 years ago called "Getting Beyond Guilt" for the New Year's Day service at Grace Community Church in Plano. The message comes from Psalm 51, which records David's lament after his sin with Bathshe … Read More

via Yesterday Lucas

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POTSC: Stop Throwing People Away

An excerpt from a really great blog is below.  I posted it here as a constant reminder to myself that everyone in my life is human.  We are not perfect and we all need grace….

We have a tendency to throw people away because they do or say or write one thing we don’t like.

One thing. A moment. A blog post. A book. A sermon. A prison stint. A bad habit. Or even something they didn’t do but we think they should have in a Monday morning quarterback kind of way.

Gone. That person is trash. I’m going to trash that person. For life. And hate them. For ever. I’m on Team Hate That Person for the rest of eternity.

You can read the rest of the blog at: http://www.potsc.com/identity/stop-throwing-people-away/

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Monday Morning Learnings: Grace and Forgiveness

Grace.

Its what I crave most when my guilt is exposed.

The very thing I’m hesitant to extend when I’m confronted with the guilt of others — especially when their guilt has robbed me of something I consider valuable.

— Andy Stanley, The Grace of God

Mercy and forgiveness must be free and unmerited to the wrongdoer. If the wrongdoer has to do something to merit it, then it isn’t mercy, but forgiveness always comes at a cost to the one granting the forgiveness.

— Timothy Keller, The Prodigal God

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Retweets… why they matter to me

You have never locked eyes with someone who doesn’t matter to God.

Thank you, Katie Sayer (@appreciatehope)…for teaching me the importance of loving EVERYONE that God puts in my life. Just like HE does!

When I look at my children, I never think about their past. Only their potential.

Thank you, @andystanley…as we face our first semester of high school exams, you remind me that I may see THEIR potential more than they do.  Praying for the words that will inspire them to be the best they can be!

We live in a world where what we want is only what we want until it’s ours.

Thank you, @mamanellie… for reminding me that the important things in life are not material possessions, rather how we use our resources to help those who are deep in the heart of God.

Nothing in your life is arbitrary. It’s all for a purpose

Thank you, @dchrzan… for reminding me that everything that happens in my life is something God wants to use to bring me closer to him.

The more I know MY OWN sinfulness, the less inclined I am to disparage OTHERS” He who’s been forgiven much loves much”Lk7:47

Thank you, @rickwarren…so very, very true.

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What We Are Given

I’ve spent too much time wanting what was taken from me to appreciate what I was given.

Prince Caspian, Chronicles of Narnia, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader


The holidays for most of us have become a time of reflection.  We look back on our lives and remember (usually with fondness) the earlier years.  Those memories, more often than not, are filled with people rather than things.  And as those we love move on from our lives, it is often the holidays, year after year, that brings those memories rushing back.

This year I have watched the Christmas memories flow on Facebook.  Friends have reflected on the loss of a family member, or missing friends and familiar traditions because of a move or relocation.  Even our own family members who, with both with joy and sorrow, returned foster children to their mother after caring for them for several years.

The pain of letting go of loved ones God has given us and taken away can, at times, seem all-consuming in our lives.

As Prince Caspian reaches the end of his journey in the movie, it has been a long quest in search of his father, who he believes may still be alive.  His life has become so obsessed with finding out what has happened to him that he considers ending his own life if it will give him the answer.  It is at this point where he realizes that his obsession with finding (and making peace with) his father has overtaken his life focus.  As a result, he is missing the opportunities that he has been given.  As the new King of Narnia, he now has the opportunity to make a difference as a leader of the kingdom, however he must first move past the loss that is consuming his life.

But real-life transitions are not as easy as quoting a great movie line.  They take time and work, but hopefully result in life change and growth.

In his book Gracenomics: Unleashing the Power of Second Chance Living, Mike Foster talks about the challenges of moving forward after a traumatic, life changing event.  In Chapter 2 of this book he talks about the recovery process and the importance of remembering and encouraging others in their strength.

Experts claim that it is possible for a tragic event to strike us over and over again over the course of our lives. Meaning that tragedy impacts us once [at the moment when it happens] and again each time we stew on it, analyze it, or talk about it with others.  Giving so much air time to our worst moments can actually impede the healing process.

Foster continues on to cite studies that illustrate: “it is not compassion that inspired them to recover, but rather being told they were strong.”

If we are honest with ourselves, we would see the ongoing injustice and oppression doesn’t lie within the event, but in the belief that we are powerless to move on.

Good and challenging stuff.

Challenging in the sense that I believe that moving on is exactly what God wants us to do.  It may not be easy, but it is an incredible opportunity for us to grow to a new dependence on Him.  If we can bring ourselves to see that in “taking from us,” He is actually trying to give us so much more.  If we will only allow ourselves to look around and appreciate what we’ve been given.

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A Great Quote from Narnia

We saw the new Chronicles of Narnia movie over the holidays.  It is a great movie (as they all have been, so much symbolism!).  But one quote really hit me at the end of the movie.

I won’t tell you how it fits into the story, only that the quote is from Prince Caspian.  I’m capturing it here so I won’t forget it, with the hopes that I’ll take time to later to flesh out its meaning to me.

I’ve spent too much time wanting what was taken from me to appreciate what I was given.

— Prince Caspian, Chronicles of Narnia, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

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