Every Wed afternoon a little calendar reminder goes off that is titled "Shane//Pure Blog." A couple years ago our Social Media director added this to my calendar to remind me to stop and blog. Now if you are looking for insight to tonight you prob want to go read our blog from a couple days ago The One Thing:: a challenge and confession. But if you want to read something that's just from my heart and a little sneak peek into my world...read on.
If you follow the PURE blog at all you know that I don't respond to that little calendar reminder very often, or often enough. To be fully transparent most of the time I click Ignore and think nothing of it. That's probably due to the fact that I am wrapped up in responding or catching up on emails, Facebook messages, or working on the final (or not so final) touches to the message for that Wed.
What you might notice instead of a Blog...a few Instagram's and a few Tweets that point toward Wed nights and encourage or tease you to show up, watch online, or invite your family and friends. Here's a little secret no pastor wants to admit but everyone has wrestled with...every pastor, speaker or leader has a crippling fear that no one will show up. So from time to time those of us who haven't totally let go of that fear...do silly things like advertise our stuff the day of the service or the event...when truthfully that might work a little but really people showing up has NOTHING to do with us.
Wheeeeww...ok got that out of the way.
If you are like me you might find yourself from time to time ignoring those little reminders. And if we are brutally honest with ourselves we know that those little reminders start to pile up and they grow into something much larger. In this case, an unfulfilled audience that looks for hope and encouragement from time to time through the things that I share about my life and what I am learning.
If we ignore that reminder to pay a bill or that reminder to track our finances...we might get away with it for a while but after a bit...a problem starts to brew. While its obvious with finances...its not always so obvious in other places like relationships, leadership, or our spiritual lives.
There are constant reminders that pop up. Life Lesson :: don't click ignore. There might be fear, anxiety, chaos and failure to face when we acknowledge that reminder. But...here's what I am learning...your hole that you think His grace isn't big enough to fill...It is. Call it your Grace Hole.
I have forever made decisions in ministry, counseling and leadership that I didn't think twice about...major ones. But when it comes to my personal money and marriage (I named it my 'M&M)' I 'know' that they are God's and that they always have been. When it comes down to the day to day decisions and living that out I haven't lived like they were.
Why? All of our reasons for living in fear or holding on to stuff stem from different places...but here is what I know about me.
Marriage - Last year (I think) I truly began to make decisions and live like God was responsible for and owned my marriage (future speaking of course) and made some fun crazy decisions and moves toward that next season in life. And I can honestly say that I am to a place that I fully trust what He is doing and going to do...thank God for Grace.
Money - I am learning that over the last 2 years I have worked really really hard to 'fix' my financial situation. I have tried and tried and sold things and tried to pay debt off. But every effort I have made I have done with the thought that it was my job to figure it out. What I didn't do...make decisions based off the right set of figures. The figure I left out...That my money mess, my personal debt, was His. It was my mistake but my life, money, and relationships belong to Him...no matter how messed up, backwards or confused they are. MyGrace Hole...I didn't think that my debt, my financial decisions were worthy enough to be His...so I lived like they were mine.
It might sound crazy that my Grace Hole, in this stage of life at least, is money...it probably isn't for you. What I do know is that your 'Thing' might be different and this might just help you learn a lesson that's taken me a long time to get my head and heard around.
Right now I am working through the final details of what we will share in Part 2 of 'The Deep End' and I thought it would be good to throw out there what we talked about last week...before we moved forward this week.
The question is still lingering for some of us...
"What is the One Thing that keeps us from fully following or committing to being a follower of Jesus?"
No doubt some walked away from Wed knowing exactly what you had to share with someone this week...you knew exactly what that one thing is. And I hope you took the challenge to do it before this Wed. Some of us still think that there is no way it could just be 1 or 2 things and we gave up because it was too complicated to tackle...so for those that forgot or got overwhelmed this is for you.
-Don't Over Complicate It!
We love to make things complicated...it makes it easier to not deal with. So don't over complicated this!!! It's simple get down to that 1 or maybe those 2 things you know are you big hang ups.
-Don't Get Confused
Most of us, if you're like me and love to focus on the symptom without tackling the source. When we try to 'manage' the symptom or build coping mechanisms sometimes we forget that there is something further under the surface that is driving that symptom...the source.
So don't confuse the Symptom with the Source! They aren't the same! If we only treated the symptoms of Pneumonia, we treated the cough and congestion, but never sought out the the source and realized the fluid remaining in the lungs is the source of the body's illness we would have perpetually reoccurring pneumonia.
The Point:: Tackle the Source, Dont Just Treat the Symptom
Maybe Anger is your 'One Thing.' Then ask yourself this questions...What is it that makes me have a short temper: Im angry....and then ask why am I angry? Usually we will find someone hurt us.
My One Thing::
For a couple years now I have been sharing that the One Thing that has held me back in life was fear. Sometimes it was fear of being rejected or not being accepted (thats a symptom of the source that is hurt and pain from being rejected or being told I wasn't good enough). One of those fears was trusting God to make me a better manager of my own personal $. Confession #2, I think money is an awesome tool, but I have a very unstable and anxiety driven relationship with it! So of course for me my one thing...facing my $ fears. Today I can tell you that not tackling that fear sooner has cost me a lot. More than I may ever know. What I know most recently is that it cost me the ability to become a husband. Does that mean that the door has closed...I think and believe that Grace has something to say about that and everything is redeemable...but for now I have my 'One Thing.' What's yours?
So the challenge is still there...figure it out...and tell someone your 'One Thing.'
Last night we threw the challenge out that it was our job to take the next step. The point....
Moving Forward Requires us taking a Step…Sometimes that Step requires huge amounts of Faith.
Here are what we think are the keys to taking that step:: Enjoy
Connect, Commit, Serve, Share
-In Community Groups, Counseling (if you have stuff you know you need to work through), Classes (learning is always good)
-Circles are better than rows
-Conversations are better than being talked to
-This step is the most important to everyone we know with a meaningful healthy relationship with Jesus...we asked and they all said connecting changed them! We think it can change you.
-To community group, and healing, and then when you explore enough commit to Jesus, were here to help, we can't create your experience with God, that's between you and Him but we consider winning in our environment when the atmosphere is created where you can!
-You have a treasure, it may be small but give what you got! You have more than you started with...empty whatever is in your cup and give it to someone else!
-Tell your story…at home, work, school, in bed at night (for the married people only haha). Take a risk. Your story matters!
-Jesus didn’t die for Heaven. He died for now too!!
A couple weeks ago we wrapped up the 'His Will' Series. As we finished we left you with George Mueller's 6 Steps to knowing God's will...so we thought it would be a good idea to leave them here for you to reflect and better yet...act on!
If you would like to know more about his life...it was incredible...You Can Read his Autobiography here.
1. Get your heart to a place that it doesn’t have a will of its own
We would say…get to a place where you embrace that your life isn’t your OWN
2. Don’t leave the answer to just a simple impression or feeling
Expect more than just a feeling
3. Ask & expect the Spirit to speak through and with the Word
4. Take into account Providential GOD circumstances
We would say: Consider all the things we couldn’t orchestrate or make happen, the unexplainable. They are more likely than not...God working.
5. Ask God & expect Him to speak in a personal way
6. Make an Intentional Decision
After you read the bible, spend copious amounts of time in prayer and reflection make an intentional decision to the best of your ability and wisdom.