My friend Wes (guest blogger) — You should read this!

My good friend Wes who lives in Pennsylvania (we went to college together and have done a bunch of ministry and friendship stuff over the years together) has been living with barely function kidneys for years now (less that 10% function!) Recently, his brother came forward to donate a kidney to him. About a week or so ago now he went into surgery for this new kidney. Here, in Wes’s own words are what happened — I’d really encourage you to read this whole thing (it’s a little long) because it will be well worth the time — Wes is a good friend and I’m blown away by this blog post. (I just got off the phone with him a minute ago and I can tell you this, these words are absolutely true and where he’s at).

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What are you/did you learn?

Hi, I’m putting together the concluding message for our “Untangling the Mess” series and while it may be a little challenging, I’d love to have all of you, the faithful readers of the blog either: 1. summarize a key thought in your own words from the series or 2. tell one way one of the sermons particularly hit you (could share a story etc)

So, choose one of the following messages/ themes and summarize your take-away, your application or your summary…

1. Finding Peace in the Mess — we talked about “shalom” how it’s not just the absence of conflict but the presence of LIFE. We looked at Psalm 23 and wondered why we didn’t enter into God’s peace more regularly.

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Looking ahead at Grace Sermons

Hi.

We’re currently in our “Untangling the Mess” series which I pray has been very helpful for people. The reality is both me and I’m sure lots of us have unnecessary stress and worry because of the way we approach our lives, the degree to which we trust God and the way we process events that happen to us. If we could move in this area, just imagine what our lives could be like everyday?

So where do we go after this series? Well, this series will take us through May 2nd. On May 9th we’re starting a new series (which I haven’t landed on a title for yet) going verse by verse through the book of Titus. WOW – how eye-opening has this study been for me? Great stuff and I can’t wait to share what God has shown me as I’ve gone through this. You may want to read it now a few times to get yourself familiar with it.

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Room to Wiggle pt.2-the personal stuff

So yesterday I posted about what we do with the “open-handed” issues in our lives/ churches and also asked how we handle those who think differently on these “open-handed” issues. Today, I seek to address personal opinions on things and how we share them.

There’s a tendency particularly in church environments for us to share our opinions as “facts”. I’m not sure where this comes from, if it’s a particular personality type or something that church people in general do? Maybe it comes from the strong convictions about God and His Word that believers are called to have and to not back down from? Not sure… but here’s the sober truth: lots of your opinions (and mine for that matter) are NOT facts, simply opinions. They may be opinions that from your experience have proven true to you. They may be opinions that based on your weak spots or temptations have become non-negotiable, for you. But let’s remember they are still opinions, maybe strong ones, important ones, but still opinions.

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Room to Wiggle?

I am very committed to the Word of God. It is everything to me and on which all of my teaching, actions and thoughts find their basis and grounding. So as I get into this post, please understand my thoughts are not about the solid, core convictions of the Bible. Or what I would call “closed handed” issues. They’re closed handed for a reason.

However, a disturbing trend has hit me lately and that is what happens when someone “lands” on an “open-handed” issue. Meaning there is an issue that has been debated for centuries, or there is not clear biblical direction on and a person “lands” on their view of that particular thing. By the way, I think it’s important to “land” on a viewpoint on debated or discussed issues. I’m not sure how much value there is in having tons of issues where we don’t land, because the reality is where we land does have a bearing on how we act and the decisions we make.

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God Thing Stories

It’s been a few weeks since we completed our series: “It’s a God Thing” and although we’ve been focused on “Untangling the Mess” there have been several who asked if we could post some of the stories I read about what God was doing in our church and in people’s lives. So from that last message… here are a few of the stories and stats on how God is working in our church and in people:

There’s a gal in our church who struggles with chronic fatigue and she said, these past few weeks, “I’ve accomplished more work and activities than the past year!” She said, “God gave me the energy to do the job”
THAT’S A GOD THING!
Another person wrote me and said, “…God has been working the last few weeks in relation to my body image. I have always struggled with being curvy and not really thin…I have seen my reflection countless times in the mirror and have been disgusted with my body…A couple of weeks ago, God challenged me to put trust in Him about my body and to see myself as He and my husband see me, beautiful…I can say with tears of joy that God is working in my heart! He has led me to passages about beautiful faithful women of God in the Bible and reminded me that He made me unique because He has a special plan for me.” God is at work in this girl’s life and I need to tell you this is not the only story like this I heard lately

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