Embrace and Pursue Life to the Full

It is a privilege to sit with young men and hear them process their faith and walk with them on their journey.  Here are some of the insights that were shared as three (one was missing…) young men on the grow put words to their thoughts about God after reading a synopsis of His story from Genesis to Revelation

Our time was framed by four questions:

WHO IS GOD?
WHAT HAS HE DONE?
WHO ARE WE?
HOW DO WE LIVE?

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Here is a verse that has grabbed my hear the last few days. It is Psalm 37:3-5.  These few verses were discussed in The Comeback by Louie Giglio.  Chapter 10 is one of the best chapters I’ve ever read and has brought great rest to my soul. I am going to try to unpack how it has influenced me in a series of posts over the next few weeks.  It was so good (for me…maybe it will help you) that it has caused me to want to share some what has done in my soul.

Whom have I in heaven but you?

Trust in the Lord, and do good;
    dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord;
    trust in him, and he will act.

Let the truth of that verse sit on your heart

I’ve been walking with Jesus since I was a little girl, and it is by far the most wonderful, frustrating, romantic and terrifying relationship of my life. It breaks all social norms, ideas, and patterns. The grace part makes it wonderful, the faith part makes it adventurous, and the unknown often forces me to put God at arms length. I risk everything when I sit before the Lord. I become aware of how exposed I truly am and that I have no control over how he sees me. He simply sees me, all of me.

In human relationships there are levels of disclosure that both parties must engage in for the relationship to cultivate and become intimate. There’s the first level, consisting of physical characteristics and visible behaviors. The next level includes information like occupation, hobbies, or anything you could “Google” about a person. However, in order for the relationship to become deeper, more disclosure must take place where values, beliefs, and feelings are discussed.  Further, intimate and healthy relationships need reciprocity in order to grow. Both parties must continue to reveal information on similar levels as trust is established through time.

With God, things get a little messy because he doesn’t follow this relational model. Because he is our creator, he knows information about us at the deepest level of our being; including things we may not yet know about ourselves. Meanwhile we are still playing catch up on the names of Jesus’s friends and family.

As Christians, we discuss the sacrifices of following God, the hardships and possibility of persecution. However personally, I think the scariest thing of all is the vulnerability it takes to walk with Jesus everyday. Allowing the Lord to love me and take care of me knowing my sinful nature, and having the humility to risk being seen for who I am and the faith to know that I am accepted anyway.  Author ~ MW

As I skimmed some past journal entries I noticed a few lines that were either circled underlined, or both.  Here are a few that impacted me a second time.  I don’t remember where they came from, but I know they are great thoughts.  I hope to add some content to each of these ideas in the coming weeks.

 

You can’t have a true relationship with people you are trying to control…

Control is about fear. Intimacy is about risk…

Jesus said come follow me…an invitation to take a risk and enter into an intimate relationship with Christ.

Transition…

The opposite of addiction is not sobriety…its connection….

Even when we know the truth – death is always difficult…

Mentoring is 75 percent listening 20 percent asking good questions and 5 percent sharing personal experience…

 The root of sin is control and the desire to control is fear…

 

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This past few days have reconnected with some good buds.  In the span of three days three good friends called me on consecutive nights.  One is out East in school, one is down South in school and the other is 20 minutes from my house working and making some cash.  I know all three through youth ministry.  In my former life I was a youth pastor and loved every second of it…maybe not the early years when lock-ins were popular, but everything else was great.

There is a new Budweiser commercial advertising their beer, but its more then just beer.  They are capturing some regular people and asking them to round up some “buds” for the holidays. Great idea and probably a solid move for advertising. If I were to round up some buds, those three guys who I spoke with on the phone would definitely be on the list.

Life is relationships.  Good ones, bad ones, unclear ones, and a billion other combinations.  I met with a guy on Monday who is dealing with a few different kinds of relationships and some were going really well and others were experiencing some turbulence.  All our relationships matter, but some should be higher on the priority list.  The aspect of my relationships that I want to improve is investing in the right people, in the right way at the right time.

The people I know are moving through life and moving away, getting married or beginning new jobs.  Those are major life benchmarks and it seems like a good time round up some buds, deepen the relationships and walk with them in whatever ways are appropriate.  Maybe its time for you to rethink the relationships in your life?