Thanks. I needed that.

Mark Batterson in his book The Grave Robber put it this way:

Sometimes we need someone to silly-slap us!
We need some tough love applied.
Probably 25 years or more ago I sat at breakfast with a man I wanted to learn from. I was new in ministry and a habit I was establishing at the time was trying to learn from experienced pastors and leaders. During key times when a speaker would be in my vicinity, I would try and arrange time with them. I would see if I could catch them for breakfast or lunch or coffee. Anything. I just wanted to spend time with them and ask them about leadership and ministry.
On this particular occasion I had the opportunity to have breakfast with a man who I greatly admired. He had planted a church and was leading home missions at the time. I was planting a church and just wanted to glean more from him.
As breakfast progressed he began asking me questions. Hard questions. How much time was I spending in prayer? How much time was I spending in the Word? How much time was I spending in the community? What community contacts did I have? Who were my friends in the community? What organizations did I belong to where I had contact with people outside the Christian faith?
It wasn’t long before I was just dumbfounded. And crying. Literally. Right into my eggs. Worst breakfast ever.
Then, he gently spoke healing into my life. He needed to let me know that sometimes we have to see what is broken and admit it. Too often we ignore what’s broken and we end up with further injury. Acknowledge the broken and get help. THEN something special can happen.
I really got silly-slapped that day.
Best. Lesson. Ever.

Dare the devil

Dorothy Sayers said this:

The people who crucified Jesus never, to do them justice, accused him of being a bore — on the contrary, they thought him too dynamic to be safe. It has been left for later generations to muffle up that shattering personality and surround him with an atmosphere of tedium. We have very efficiently pared the claws of the Lion of Judah, certified him ‘meek and mile,’ and recommended him as a fitting household pet for pale curates and pious old ladies.

Mark Batterson followed that quote up with this:

If Sayer’s generation declawed the Lion of Judah, we have neutered him. Or lobotomized His wild side. And then we wonder why we’re bored with our faith?

Mark this week

I am only thinking out loud on this post. I am trying to leave record everywhere I can think of today because… well… I don’t know why. But I marked it in my journal, which will only get stashed in some box after it’s used up and I’ll never get it out again. I can wrap it in neon paper and write “REMEMBER THIS JOURNAL” and it will still get boxed up and never seen again.

But somehow I need to leave record to remember to come back to this week. SOMETHING IS DIFFERENT.

Just to note… It is Wednesday, April 22, and to this date in this week nothing has happened.

Weird. I know.

At the beginning of this week, the Lord spoke to me as I was looking over some books and picked up Mark Batterson’s The Grave Robber. I have been reading it this week and the Lord is really tearing me up on the matter of miracles. When I picked it up earlier in the week the Spirit spoke to me and said, “I’m going to teach you about the miraculous.”

So… to this date… I am making it official: NOTHING HAS HAPPENED.

Our leadership team looked at a building again some of us really liked, but a contractor let us know this was not a good place to look at for what we needed… not for the money we had to utilize.

We are waiting on paperwork to get a closing date on our church property and now I have a conference call with the buyers tomorrow… so nothing there. Only more nerves.

Not. One. Miracle.

Nothing has changed.

But I need to mark down this week. Why?

Because everything has changed. Something deep inside me on the bus this morning just shifted. I was reading another chapter in Batterson’s book… and in my mind I pictured the rudder of a ship turning. Imperceptible. Yet… the small change in the course of a rudder would alter the course of an entire freighter. Something changed. 

I see no miracles right now… yet… I see miracles right now.

(I am beginning to think I need to leave this page private. This is just too weird right now.)

Today is a day of new wineskins in my thinking and in my spirit. There is a place of possible despair staring at me as I think of what we can not know when it comes to these deep changes in the church. Yet, it is the very place the Spirit has led me… so there is instead great faith. I can’t explain it. I just know I need to mark this week and I need to mark it while NOTHING is happening.

Because while nothing outwardly is happening, something inward just shifted. Dramatically. Powerfully.

It’s like, “I was blind and now I see.”

The impossible is now possible. And the POSSIBLE is now ahead.