Saturday, August 27, 2011

Flaws as the New Perfection

Donald Miller makes me laugh frequently. His word also habitually make me think. So he has this blog on flaws here. I've got plenty, so he real me in. I read. And I watch this video that Don includes.

Then Don ends the flaws blog with this note "Feel fee to share your very favorite flaws in the comments below."

Here's what I wrote:

"That’s a new twist… my “very favorite flaw.”
Before now, I would have positioned that
near the top of my “Very Obvious
Oxymoron” list. But you got me to

My very favorite flaw is trying to be a perfectionist in stuff I’m turning out or doing that I know somebody else is going to see. And underneath that is being driven by people-pleasing, people-liking-me, and people-accepting-me mania.

Perfectionism is now my “favorite flaw” because of Jesus. Now this crazy, futile obsession has been redeemed. Father is perfect. Jesus is perfect. Spirit is perfect. I can relax in how they love me, see me, and keep perfecting me, even and especially in how I see me! So when my stubborn flaw ambushes me, I’ve got a better thought to replace it with. Thanks for the reminder!"

So do you want to give this a try?

Read Don's blog, watch the video, and leave a comment--feel fee to share your very favorite flaw.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


"Denial is a favorite method of coping for many Christians. But not with Jesus. He wants truth in the inmost being, and to get it there he's got to take us into our inmost being. One way he'll do this is by bringing up an old memory. You'll be driving down the road and suddenly remember something from your childhood. Or maybe you'll have a dream about a long-forgotten person, event, or place. However he brings it up, go with him there. He has something to say to you.

The lessons that have been laid down in pain can be accessed only in pain. Christ must open the wound, not just bandage it over. Sometimes he'll take us there by having an event repeat itself years later, only with new characters in the current situation. We find ourselves overlooked for a job, just as we were overlooked by our parents. Or we experience fear again, just as we felt those lonely nights in our room upstairs. These are all invitations to go with him into the deep waters of the heart, uncover the lies buried down there, and bring in the truth that will set us free. Don't just bury it quickly; ask God what he is wanting to speak to
."~~John Eldredge, Waking the Dead

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Getting Better

Here's what Paul says about life lived in Christ:

"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me" (Galatians 2:20).

When I take what Paul writes, to me it sounds like this:

"I'm growing increasingly mindful of my Jesus-connection, and I no longer live the same way. Jesus lives in me. I now try to live as Jesus would live. Jesus wants to shape my life, down to the smallest details. He is the focus and meaning of all life. He is the one who loved me and gave himself for me."

Because of Jesus, life is getting better.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Miracles and Road Signs

Jesus' miracles are like road signs. You know, like the kind you see when you're driving down the road, which tell you how many miles you have to go to reach a city or that signal the entrance to a national park or tell you to take the next exit for Waffle House or Wendy's or Subway . However, no matter the road sign, the sign is not the point. It points to the point.

So a Jesus miracle isn't the point. It points to the point. Somehow I got the idea that Jesus' miracles were primarly intended for identification. I came to think his miracles proved his identity as the Son of God. And I guess that's true, at least, partially.

So what is the main purpose for the miracles of Jesus? Brian McLaren explains it like this:

"If you get a glimpse of soldiers in camouflage uniforms sneaking through the forest, if you notice planes from an enemy country flying high above you, if key political leaders in your country disappear or are mysteriously assasinated, you might suspect an invasion is coming. If bullets start flying and bomb sirens start going off, your suspicions will be fulfilled. Another nation--let's call it a kingdom--is preparing to invade and conquer your kingdom.

"But what if this kingdom that is invading is a kingdom of a very different sort? What if the invasion is one of kindness and compassion rather than force and aggression? What if sick people start getting well suddenly and inexplicably? What if rumors spread of storms being calmed, insane people becoming sane again, hungry people being fed, and dead people rising? Couldn't this be the sign of a different kind of invasion--the coming of a different kind of kingdom?"
(The Secret Message of Jesus)
Give this a try. Over the next few days read one of the Gospels, like John. As you read miracle stories, think how they signal an invasion of a kingdom from another world. Every miracle--past, present, and future--is a sign that God really is answering a prayer:

"Our Father. May your kingdom come,
and your will be done on earth as it is in heaven."

Friday, August 19, 2011

30 Simple Ways To Be Missional In Your Workplace

Josh Reeves offers some great ideas to bring Jesus into the workplace. No, not with a Bible sitting on your desk or a Christian screensaver on your Mac or PC. His list doesn't include a t-shirt you could wear on casual Fridays or a bumper sticker for your briefcase. It even avoids a cross necklace, bracelet, or ring you could wear.

Instead, Josh lists very simple actions. Intentional, kind moments. They are breaths of fresh air and gentle glimpses of life as it was meant to be, even on the job.

Ponder Josh's ideas and see if they spark other possibilities. I'm guessing the Holy Spirit will help you stir up pleasant, Jesus-like experiences for your co-workers.

Really, do you have some ideas to add to the list Josh started?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Go See "The Help" Movie

Unlike many people, I have not read the book. I only remember Sallye struggling to get through it on our recent vacation. Now I know why. It's a very emotional treatment of a very ugly chapter in American history.

However, Kathryn Stockett's novel translated well to film. It celebrates the courage to inspire change. I enjoyed how it depicted, in a realistic way, how the power of one person with one idea can produce a tipping point for social justice and hope.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Lunch with Sam Gonzalez

I had a great lunch with Sam Gonzalez. Along with their children, Sam and his wife, Ann, live in Morelia, Mexico. For years they have partnered with The Hills Church in sharing the story of Jesus and the kingdom. Over Thai food (his choice, by the way, and a good one) Sam and I swapped stories about our personal journeys with Jesus. And Sam told me about his efforts in Mexico to help people step deeper into what it means to be a disciple of Jesus.

It's not easy anywhere--Texas or Mexico or wherever. But, truth is, it never has been. Jesus himself made that quite clear, which got me to thinking about some things I've been reading. One is a book, Apprenticeship With Jesus by Gary Moon. The Gospels and Moon's book are helping me wrestle with a question:

How can I can I step deeper into what it means to be a disciple?

In chapter two of his book, Gary Moon includes an observation by Dallas Willard.
"He (Willard) says it is rare to find anyone who wants so badly to be transformed into the image of Christ that he or she is willing to pay the price for it to happen."

So what am I willing to give up to be transformed to be more like Jesus? My time? Re-thinking my focus? My habits? It's all on the table!

"Show me, Jesus."

Enjoyed lunch, Sam, and especially our conversation about becoming disciples and making disciples! Keep your eyes fixed. Keep following!!!