I’m Definitely Not My Own Worst Critic

Worst critic

I’ve heard people often say, “I’m my own worst critic.” I’ve even said this before about myself. But I don’t really think it’s true. At least not all the time, and definitely not for myself. Sure, when it comes to critiquing my own preaching or writing, I might be more critical than other people. But if I’m talking generally about my life, I’m not my own worst critic.

If I’m honest, I often think I’m much better than I really am.

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25 Quotes on Grace

Grace quotes

Grace changes everything. In a world of “do more” and “try harder,” we are need of people who are willing to continue to resound the call of “it is finished.”  Grace is the intoxicating message of the extravagant, relentless love of our savior.

And I’m thankful for the theologians, present and past, who have written these words that have messed with me as I’ve thought, written, and preached the message of grace.

25 Quotes on Grace

“Humility is not a technique to get God’s grace, it is not a merchandise to be exchanged for grace; it is rather the admission of one’s wretchedness; it is about being plain and honest to ourselves and the world by naming things for what they are.” – Vitor Westhelle, The Scandalous God

“We do not, as we follow Jesus, become increasingly self-sufficient. Rather, we learn, bit by bit, the art of begging from God the Father, until at our death we can do nothing but say, “Lord Jesus, have mercy on me!” – John Kleinig, Grace Upon Grace

“Grace is given to heal the spiritually sick, not to decorate spiritual heroes.” – Martin Luther

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Grace & 50 Shades of Grey

50

The hype has calmed down a little bit and the bloggers have all weighed in. 50 Shades of Grey is a blockbuster movie, a bestselling book, and the hot topic of journalists, and reporters.  And I realize that I’m adding to that by being another voice jumping in on the topic, but the reason I’m doing so is going to be a bit different.

I have no questions that 50 Shades of Grey is a bad thing.

It presents a view of sex that is far from God’s design and the book is pornographic in its depiction of sex; the images that it has created in the minds of its readers and the images that are portrayed on the big screen are not the way God intended sexuality to work.

And this is why it’s been talked about so much.

And if you’re looking for a list of reasons why it’s wrong to read or watch 50 Shades, this isn’t the post for you.

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When God Speaks Through Asses

God speaks

There’s an awesome story in the book of Numbers when God decides to use a donkey to get his message across.  For effect, let’s use the KJV:

And Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his ass, and went with the princes of Moab.

And God’s anger was kindled because he went: and the angel of the Lord stood in the way for an adversary against him. Now he was riding upon his ass, and his two servants were with him.

KJV is just fun, I should use it to teach far more often.

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God’s Terrible Mission Strategy

Mission strategy

When it coms to the salvation of man, God is always the one doing the work. God does the rescuing. God does the redeeming. God is the one who forgives. But then in the midst of God’s grace that he gives, he decides to give this message to a people.

“Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” – 2 Corinthians 5:20-21

God rescues.

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What Family Devotions Really Look Like

Devotions

When I envisioned family devotions in my head, it was always a picture of my kids hanging onto every word I say as I opened up the scriptures for them. I pictured my son interacting with me about the Bible story. I pictured my daughter quietly sitting in bed next to us and occasionally pointing and babbling. And I pictured my wife happily watching on as her super husband leads family devotions.

Reality isn’t anything like that.

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How To Deal with Addiction

Addiction

God heals addiction. But the way he does that is not always by automatically removing your temptations and desire for that addiction without any work.

It’s not that easy.

You’re going to need some help. Find some friends, a spouse, a pastor, or a counselor – or all ofthe above – and start working through whatever enslaves you.

You are forgiven without this work. And don’t miss this – your forgiveness is not dependent on your ability to deal with your addictions. It’s not dependent on your ability to accomplish the following steps.

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Beaten, Bloodied, and Bruised

Bloodied

Jesus tells the story of a man traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho who falls into the hands of robbers. The text reads, “They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead.”  Beaten and bruised at the hands of robbers, this bloody mess of a man lies there waiting for someone that might be able to help.

A priest then enters the story. But he walks by.

A Levite enters the story too. But he passes right by the bloodied man on the road.

This is the story that has come to be known as the story of the Good Samaritan. The priest and Levite leave this man on the side of the road for dead.  The preachers of this parable will then tell us, “Don’t be like the priest and the Levite, be like the Samaritan.”

But there’s a problem if we follow what Jesus does in the story.

Read the rest of this post at ChristHoldFast.com.

Turn Down For What

grace is intoxicating

Crunk rap artist Lil Jon and DJ Snake have a top 10 single dedicated to the hook, “Turn down for what.” Since I was a bit out of touch with the language, I embarrassingly asked some teenagers what it meant. Urban Dictionary confirmed what they also told me: “Rhetorical question used by teenagers. “Turn up” is the act of getting drunk and high and being reckless so “turn down” would mean sobering up.”

So Lil Jon proudly shouts, “Turn down for what… Another round of shots.”

The Intoxicating Message of Grace

Grace is intoxicating—It changes the way we see the world. It changes our behavior. It changes our speech. And it certainly affects our mind. This is the grace that Paul Zahl describes when he writes, “Grace is love that seeks you out when you have nothing to give in return. Grace is love coming at you that has nothing to do with you. Grace is being loved when you are unlovable…”This kind of grace is intoxicating.

Read the rest of this post at Liberate.org.

More Than Meets the Eye

More than meets

God is a God of the ordinary. He does the miraculous through ordinary means. He uses ordinary people and simple methods to accomplish his divine goals. In some mysterious way, God decides to work in and through things that would otherwise seem very average.

Paul writes in Corinthians, “But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong.”

God is the in the business of choosing the simple, ordinary, everyday things to do his miraculous work.  While we are often interested in looking for the super-natural miracles, we often miss the everyday kind of miracles. We look for the sudden cured disease and miss God working through doctors and surgeons. We look for God’s audible voice or a dream and we miss God’s speaking through simple words on a page.

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