September 28, 2016
It's one of the clearest signs of spiritual strength. If we are going to be healthy and promote a vibrant spiritual community, we need to let people know how we're doing.
This should be done appropriately and for the right purpose. But many don't ever open up. Sometimes this is because of …
AN OPEN BOOK NAMED PAUL
Paul didn't have this problem. Three times in two verses to the Ephesians he mentions a willingness to be ""known,"" i.e., to let people into his circumstances.
But that you also may know about my circumstances, how I am doing, Tychicus, the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, will make everything known to you. I have sent him to you for this very purpose, so that you may know about us, and that he may comfort your hearts. (Ephesians 6:21-22)
Everybody needs somebody who knows you deeply.
Twenty-five years ago, after watching my pastor-father fall into moral failure, I realized I needed some men who really knew me and could ask me the hard questions. Stephen Davis, Gary Smith, and Russ Barksdale, (three pastor buddies), have become my closest accountability friends. We have retreated every year for the last 25 years. At first, for accountability. But as the years went on, for pure friendship, (which includes deep accountability). They know everything about me and have “talked me off the ledge” more than once.
Now, we talk weekly and there is nothing we will not ask each other and nothing we will not tell each other. It's been life-changing for me. Other than my family, these guys form the most important relationships of my life.
LET’S GET REAL
Maybe it's time for you (and me) to get more transparent. One of the hallmarks of every great revival has been a dramatically increased level of honesty, transparency, and confession to one another in the body. And James 5:16 says that we should be in the habit of confessing our faults and needs to one another so we can pray for each other and find healing.
We're all sinners in need, facing battles every single moment of the common day. Might be time we let each other in on what's happening in our lives for the purpose of prayer, help, and accountability!
So, how are you doing?
BY THE WAY … I am really busy; a little anxious but very excited about the next six weeks which I feel may be the unrolling of the most important initiative we’ve ever done as a church and praying that our whole church embraces the vision and goes ALL IN; frustrated that I’m not doing great on my eating habits, but grateful I’m back riding my bike; and, missing my wife (who has been gone for a week, but comes home tonight!)
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August 24, 2019
Everyone in this life deals with the aches and pains and diseases and weaknesses of their physical body. We pray for those we know who are in deep physical distress. We mourn those who are dying. We fear physical loss. It is seen by most as their greatest enemy. Death is the one thing we cannot escape.
But for the believer, our physical deterioration is a sign of better things to come.
August 15, 2019
All of us have fears. Fear of man, fear of the unknown, fear that we don't have what it takes, fear of the future, fear of death--the list is endless.
August 13, 2019