Month: January 2015

Not With Haste

Your eyes they tie me down so hard
I’ll never learn to put up a guard
So keep my love, my candle bright
Learn me hard, oh learn me right

This ain’t no sham
I am what I am

Though I may speak some tongue of old
Or even spit out some holy word
I have no strength from which to speak
When you sit me down, and see I’m weak

We will run and scream
You will dance with me
They’ll fulfill our dreams and we’ll be free

And we will be who we are
And they’ll heal our scars
Sadness will be far away

So as we walked through fields of green
Was the fairest sun I’d ever seen
And I was broke, I was on my knees
And you said yes as I said please

This ain’t no sham
I am what I am
I leave no time
For a cynic’s mind

We will run and scream
You will dance with me
Fulfill our dreams and we’ll be free

We will be who we are
And they’ll heal our scars
Sadness will be far away

Do not let my fickle flesh go to waste
As it keeps my heart and soul in its place
And I will love with urgency but not with haste

*By M&S

Biblical Counseling [Stuff I Learned While Listening to Ed Welch]

LOOKING FOR THE ORDINARY THINGS IN PEOPLE’S LIVES (they are constructed identically to yourself)

* W H A T   I F   Y O U R   P R I V A T E   T H O U G H T S   W E R E   P U B L I C ?

1.  Stories (Storyteller) & Songs (Singer) (e.g. Rabbit Room) = Sense & Sanity

2.  Family/Familial is the Hermeneutic [ M F F ] (e.g. How are the Proverbs read and understood when you see them through the lens of family?).

a.  Mark 10:15

3.  D i s c i p l e s h i p  =  “I wanna grow”;  C o u n s e l i n g  =  “I’m hurting”

4.  Story of a counselor who is asked, “What have you learned over the past 40+ years?”  He said, “People are less good and more miserable than I ever dared to imagine.”

a.  MERCY – – – > going into the midst of misery, standing with people in a pool of their own tears.

b.  M E R C Y  M E D D L E S  A M I D S T  M I S E R Y

c.  If you have to be an “expert” on “the problems on living” then you’ll NEVER move toward anyone.

5.  I D K  [ it’s really hard at first, but once you get the knack for it – you’ll love it ]

– – – > “I Don’t Know” is the First Best Theological Statement (Theological b/c – you’re latently acknowledging that God is God, and you’re not).

– – – > “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so”  &  “I was told by Jesus ALL IS WELL …so all must be well”

W H A T  Y O U  K N O W . . .

WEAKNESS – – – > The WoG comes alive in the atmosphere of acknowledged weakness and failure.

“If you want to succeed, double your failure rate.”  –  T h o m a s  W a t s o n

6.  If the person doesn’t “feel understood” – then you lose that person.  …the person is always internally asking, “Do you have compassion and insight into my life?”

a.  A person has to say, “Yeah, that’s me – you get me!” before you can actually start walking together with them.

7.  S T O P   T A L K I N G …instead ask – – – >

“What are you thinking?”

“Help me understand this more…”

“I hear you saying ___________, …is that right?”

8.  LISTEN

– Grab hold of concrete realities; and if you choose to talk  > M a r k  1 0 : 1 5

– Have you done a good job LISTENING?

> Can you clearly distill summarize their story ?

9.  What do you do when you don’t know what to do?  You hang-out w/ people, and you get to know them, and start to think about them and care about them.

10.  When you L E A R N something concrete about the person…

You say to the person:  “I know something about you, I know that there are times when you feel like a scared, vulnerable, six-year-old child …and I know that AT THOSE TIMES – God seems totally irrelevant to you.”

Did you know that you do that?  That part of you comes out sometimes?

LET’S READ  P S A L M  2 3  &  J O H N  1 0

Study Galatians w/ them

…IT WILL NOT “CURE SUFFERING”; BUT IT WILL APPROPRIATELY SITUATE THEIR SUFFERING IN A Xs-Centered Context.

11.  Christians ought to have THE HIGHEST TOLERANCE when it comes to eccentricity, weirdness, and awkwardness

a.   REACT – – – > The things that come @ us.

b.  ACT – – – > The things that come out of us.

12.  Counseling

> Listen (the question is simply  ” W h a t  h a p p e n e d ? ” )

> “IDK” …acknowledge that it’s hard/difficult

> Say, “How can I PRAY for you?”

13.  If c o n s e q u e n c e s (as opposed to the c h a r a c t e r of God) are the thing keeping you “on the right track” then there’s a train wreck a-coming.

14.  M e d i c a t i o n  CAN  M a n i p u l a t e  your emotions, and NOTHING HAS BEEN  M E N D E D .

15.  When you’re confident …you’re “RIGHT.”  And if anyone disagrees with you they are not only “messing up” your life, they are “messing up” the well-being of the universe.

16.  E M P A T H Y,  C O M P A S S I O N,  P A T I E N T

17.  S I N    I S    I N S A N I T Y – – – > *if you wanna understand delusion, then simply look at your own heart.

*Deut. 28 – – – > the curse/the wrath is BEING GIVEN OVER TO YOUR DELUSION, and utter IRRATIONALITY.

*Nebuchadnezzar’s Insanity Daniel 4:28-33

Quotations Time O-Rama

“It is not the bee’s touching of the flower that gathers honey, but her abiding for a time upon the flower that draws out the sweet. It is not he that reads most, but he that meditates most, that will prove the choicest, sweetest, wisest and strongest Christian.”
― Thomas Brooks

“Your life is short, your duties many, your assistance great, and your reward sure; therefore faint not, hold on and hold up, in ways of well-doing, and heaven shall make amends for all ”
― Thomas Brooks
Quote for PUB Night

“Adversity hath slain her thousand, but prosperity her ten thousand.”
― Thomas Brooks
“There is no little sin, because no little God to sin against.”
― Thomas Brooks
“If God were not my friend, Satan would not be so much my enemy.”
― Thomas Brooks
“When afflictions arrest us, we shall murmur and grumble and struggle until we see that it is God that strikes.”
― Thomas Brooks
“Meditate on the unique relationship between Christians. Psalm 133:1 proclaims the goodness and pleasantness of dwelling together in unity; there are some things in the world that are good but not pleasant and others that are pleasant but not good. But to live in peace is both pleasant and good.”
― Thomas Brooks

“Ah! sinner, remember this, there is no way on earth effectually to be rid of the guilt, filth, and power of sin, but by believing in a Saviour. It is not resolving, it is not complaining, it is not mourning, but believing, that will make thee divinely victorious over that body of sin that to this day is too strong for thee, and that will certainly be thy ruin, if it be not ruined by a hand of faith.” (Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices, 220)”
― Thomas Brooks

“#1. Spend more time considering evidences of grace in other Christians than you do pondering their sins and weaknesses. You, as a Christian, probably have a much greater ability to see weakness in other believers than to see strength. It is as if you use a magnifying glass when looking for weakness and a telescope when looking for grace. Brooks warns, “Sin is darkness, grace is light; sin is hell, grace is heaven; and what madness is it to look more at darkness than at light, more at hell than at heaven.” Indeed.”
― Thomas Brooks

“There are no souls in the world that are so fearful to judge others as those that do most judge themselves, nor so careful to make a righteous judgment of men or things as those that are most careful to judge themselves.”
― Thomas Brooks

“Till men have faith in Christ, their best services are but glorious sins.”
― Thomas Brooks

“It was wonderful love that Christ should rather die for us than for the angels that fell. They were creatures of a more noble extract, and in all probability might have brought greater revenues of glory to God; yet that Christ should pass by those golden vessels, and make us clods of earth into stars of glory — Oh, the hyperbole of Christ’s love!”
― Thomas Watson, The Lord’s Supper
“[Concerning the Word preached:] Do we prize it in our judgments? Do we receive in into our hearts? Do we fear the loss of the Word preached more than the loss of peace and trade? Is it the removal of the ark that troubles us? Again, do we attend to the Word with reverential devotion? When the judge is giving the charge on the bench, all attend. When the Word is preached, the great God is giving us his charge. Do we listen to it as to a matter of life and death? This is a good sign that we love the Word.”
― Thomas Watson

“It is easy to catch a disease from another, but not to catch health. The bad will sooner corrupt the good, than the good will convert the bad.”
― Thomas Watson, The Art of Divine Contentment

“If you want to succeed double your failure rate”
― Thomas Watson

It is God’s prerogative-royal to teach: “I am the Lord thy God, which teacheth thee to profit.” Is. 48. 17. Ministers may tell us our lesson, God only can teach us.” – TW
“Men could be content to have the kingdom of heaven; but they are loathe to fight for it. They choose rather to go in a feather bed to hell than to be carried to heaven in a ‘fiery chariot’ of zeal and violence.”
― Thomas Watson, Heaven Taken by Storm: Showing the Holy Violence a Christian is to Put Forth in the Pursuit After Glory
“No flattery can heal a bad conscience, so no slander can hurt a good one.” – TW
“In a word a contented Christian, being sweetly captivated under the authority of the Word, desires to be wholly at God’s disposal and is willing to live in that sphere and climate where God has set him.”
― Thomas Watson, The Art of Divine Contentment
“If God spares us as a father does his son, let us imitate God. It is natural for children to imitate their parents. Let us imitate God in this one thing: As God spares us, and passes by many failures, so let us be sparing in our censures of others; let us look upon the weaknesses and indiscretions of our brethren with…a more tender, compassionate eye. How much God bears with us!”
― Thomas Watson

It’s Not Data …It’s Dad!

When you read the Bible, you’re not primarily reading details about religion …you’re reading a book about REALITY, of which the REALEST REALITY is REVEALED to be an INFINITELY RELATIONAL GOD who is RESOLVED to REDEEM REBELLIOUS RAGAMUFFINS.  It’s not about data …it’s about Dad!

For every one look at Exodus 20:3-17 you have to take 10 looks at Exodus 20:2.

Front Porch |əˈprentisˌSHip|

Everyday – he’d start the day by going out on the front porch to scan the horizon.  Right before lunch he would do it again.  After his afternoon nap he’d do it again.  At the end of the work day he’d do it again.  And once right before bed he’d do it again.  For the first 173 days I didn’t ask questions, but on day #174 I asked him, “Why do you do this everyday?”  He told me that his youngest son had denounced him and run away 4 1/2 years ago, and he was diligent to always be watching for his son to return.  “What’s your plan if he does turn up?” I asked.  He pointed to a 4700 lb cow and winked at me.  “You’re going to stampede him to death?”  He smirked and walked me into a big barn, where I had assumed we would encounter hay bales, and various other barn-esque type of things, but I was startled to find a wide stair case leading down into a vast fancy-schmancy wine cellar.  He poured 7 wine samples for the two of us (all of which were exceedingly better than anything that I had ever tasted in my life).  “What does this have to do with your recalcitrant son?” I inquired.  “I began construction on this the day after he left,” he said.  “Was this how you managed the anger and frustration you felt toward him? …like a cathartic outlet for your fury?” I asked.  And with the most joyous look of contemplation I have ever witnessed on a man’s face, he stood studying the various vintages that he had imported over the last 4 1/2 years, and then he said – “No… I just figured we would probably be needing lots of fancy-schmancy wine for the party upon his return.”  Before I could manage a response (I was befuddled by his statement to say the least, and frankly my mind had sort of gone blank from the sheer absurdity of what I was hearing) he said, “Follow me.”  We emerged from the wine cellar and walked back to the house.  He took me to a well furnished room and opened the closet door and said, “Do you know what these are?”  I saw a pair of polished shoes, a superior quality – and clearly custom crafted – suit, and an object engraved with an official familial emblem.  “Is this your room?” I inquired (I had my suspicions that it wasn’t his room due to the size of the shoes and the custom tailoring of the suit …but who else could these things belong to?).  “This room, and these objects belong to my youngest son,” he said with a lachrymose smile.  “But…” I began, however before I could launch into my speech of protest – he said, “I’ve made many enemies due to my devotion.  I’ve watched many talented apprentices like yourself leave upon learning of my plan.  There’s nothing you can say to sway me from my resolution, however I wholeheartedly invite you to stay and help me prepare for the party, and keep watch with me quotidian.”  I have never seen such determination and love in a man’s eyes in all my life.  My friend Sanchez insists that the old man is simply senile and stubborn, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the old man is smarter and more savvy than anyone I’ve ever met …perhaps I have fallen victim to his trap of insanity, but I am compelled to join the patriarch in his paradoxical plan to throw a party for his prodigal son!

People of THE BOOK

We sing, speak, study, store up, obey, praise God for, and pray the Word of the Lord.

God Spoke.  God has spoken to us.  Tells a story.  Do you know that story?

Do you listen to the story?  J was “listening” the story and – perhaps because he was feeling bored, perhaps because he was affectionate for a different story, perhaps because he was offended by the story – he gagged the storyteller and went his own way.

*Rabbit Trail – – – > People always tell me I’m good at being selfish.  …I don’t know – I was just born that way I guess.  Not to brag or anything, but it’s really rather effortless for me.

– – – > MAIN TRIAL:  “Jesus held Scripture in the highest possible esteem.  He knew the Bible intimately and loved it deeply.  He was always prefacing His statements with “It is written…”  At all times (Major &/or Minor &/or Mundane) He had Scripture on His lips [it was His weapon, wheel-house and womb …toe2toe with Satan, or being crucified, etc.].  His mission was to fulfill Scripture.  He never disrespected, disregarded, and/or disagreed with a single text of Scripture.  He affirmed every bit of law, prophecy, narrative, and poetry.  He never for a moment accepted the legitimacy of anyone anywhere violating, ignoring, refining, or rejecting Scripture.  Jesus believed in the inspiration of Scripture – all of it.  He accepted the chronology, the miracles, and the authorial ascriptions as giving the straightforward facts of history.  He believed in keeping the spirit of the law without ever minimizing the letter of the law.  He affirmed the human authorship of Scripture while at the same time bearing witness to the ultimate divine authorship of Scripture…” [Excerpt from:  Taking God at His Word: Why the Bible Is Knowable, Necessary, and Enough, and What That Means for You and Me; Chapter:  Christ’s Unbreakable Bible; pg. 109 – – – > Keven DeYoung]

*Rabbit Trail #2 – – – > Fads, Fears, and Forces of Nature that work on human motivation.

*Rabbit Trail #3 – – – > The Sin of Exceptionalism

Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.

(Hebrews 1:1-4) 

Proclaiming Christ Crucified

	And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

Wisdom from the Spirit

	Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But, as it is written,

	“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
		nor the heart of man imagined,
	what God has prepared for those who love him”—
	
		these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person's thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.

	The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

(1 Corinthians 2)

” ” Flavel

“Providence so orders the case, that faith and prayer come between our wants and supplies, and the goodness of God may be the more magnified in our eyes thereby.” – John Flavel
Do you have what it takes??? – – – > The SECRET is to STOP trying to JUSTIFY YOURSELF.
Your hours of alone-ness ACT upon the entire body/community.  You can either strengthen OR besmirch the family in your hours of alone-ness. …You can only learn right desires in the context of community.
An alcoholic with $50 and an ABC store nearby – – – IS HE FREE?  …People getting what they want > but what if what they want is POISONING them?
THEIR DEVICES FOR SAVING HAVE BANISHED LEISURE.  THEIR LABOR SAVING DEVICES MULTIPLY DRUDGERY.