blessings


I was watching The Today Show this morning when the court of public opinion was referenced. I immediately felt grateful and relieved that I have learned to live my life for an audience of One, and not be swayed by the opinions of human beings.

Excerpt from When Therapy Isn’t Enough:

My spiritual wounds healed during my time of spiritual re-education … I learned that my worth and value come solely from being a child of God … I don’t have to please others or gain others’ approval in order for God to love me. He loves me no matter what, and he knew me and loved me before he placed me in my mother’s womb. There is nothing I can do to make him love me more, and there is nothing I can do to make him not love me. His love for me is not based on what I do or who I am. It is based on who he is. Feeling secure in his love, I now gratefully live my life for him. I am no longer bound by a sick need to please human beings and obtain their approval. I am living my life for an audience of One.

Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1625861117/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1531867727&sr=1-2&keywords=When+Therapy+Isn%27t+Enough

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Being a Christian is not about going to church, it’s about having a personal, intimate relationship with Jesus Christ and allowing yourself to be led by the Holy Spirit, rather than being governed by the law. Bruxy Cavey communicated this truth eloquently and clearly in his book The End of Religion (Colorado Springs, Colorado: NavPress, 2007). Some of my favorite quotes from that book are:

  • There is a difference, an important difference, between relating to God through systems of doctrine, codes of conduct, inherited traditions, or institutions of power, and relating to God directly, soul-to-soul, mind-to-mind, heart-to-heart. Jesus taught this distinction, lived this message, and was killed because of its implications.
  • Jesus’ call into a rule–free, principle–based spirituality is very difficult for religious people to fathom. Certainly, rule–less spirituality is only a constructive way to live if love is the guiding dynamic, the foundational principal of our lives. This is essential to Jesus’ message. Jesus never made rule–breaking a worthy goal in and of itself. His point was that rule–keeping should be a natural expression of something deeper, rather than a goal unto itself. Simply remove rules and you are left with anarchy. Transcend rules with love, and you are beginning to live like Jesus.
  • So here is the great irony – Jesus is happy to see his followers get organized in order to help spread the message that organizations are not the answer. Christ-followers read the Bible to learn of Jesus’ teaching that reading the Bible is not what makes us a Christian. We pray regularly in order to commune with the God who reminds us that praying regularly is not what makes us acceptable to him. We meditate to immerse our souls in the love of God that is already ours, not in order to somehow achieve a state of self-induced enlightenment. And we go to church to collectively celebrate the message that going to church is not what makes us God’s children.

Excerpt from When Therapy Isn’t Enough:

John Bradshaw, in his book Healing the Shame that Binds You, states: “Twelve-step groups literally were born out of the courage of two people risking coming out of hiding. One alcoholic person (Bill W.) turned to another alcoholic person (Dr. Bob) and they told each other how bad they really felt about themselves. I join with Scott Peck in seeing this dialogue coming out of hiding as one of the most important events of this century.”

I join with John Bradshaw and Scott Peck in seeing the dialogue between Bill W. and Dr. Bob, in which they each came out of hiding and gave birth to 12-Step groups, as one of the most important events of the 20th century. I believe that another important event of the 20th century, a building block on what Bill W. and Dr. Bob did, is what John Baker and Rick Warren did. John Baker understood the vision God gave him for a Christ-centered recovery program and acted on it, giving birth to Celebrate Recovery. Rick Warren gave John Baker the needed permission and support to establish and build Celebrate Recovery at Saddleback Church in Southern California and then take it to the world.

Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1625861117/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1531867727&sr=1-2&keywords=When+Therapy+Isn%27t+Enough

 

Excerpt from When Doing Isn’t Enough:

Waiting is not popular in our modern society. Immediate gratification is popular. We want what we want now, and we do everything possible to get whatever it is we want now and avoid waiting…God appears to like waiting and seems to require it of anyone who will be used by him, particularly those who will be used in a significant way. When studying the lives of individuals in the Bible who have been used by God to accomplish extraordinary tasks there certainly seems to be a correlation between waiting and serving God in the extraordinary ways they were called to serve.

Link: https://www.amazon.com/When-Doing-Enough-Waiting-Plenty/dp/1625860838/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1508523850&sr=8-3&keywords=books+by+mary+detweiler

I am sending this out to those individuals who have a hard time doing nothing.

Excerpt from When Doing Isn’t Enough:

In 2003, I participated in a Bible study titled Experiencing God. Out of all the reading and writing and discussion that took place over that twelve-week period, the only thing that stuck with me was the following phrase: Don’t just do something. Stand there. As a task-oriented individual who has historically functioned as an overachiever, I had great difficulty wrapping my mind around this concept. Just being and not doing went against my grain on a very deep level… [10 years later] I ran across a card on Crosscards.com which said Until God opens the next door, praise him in the hallway. This resonated with me. My third book was in production and I did not have another one percolating inside me. I also was no longer leading a ministry. I was in a hallway and had run out of doors to open. As an action-oriented, doing kind of person, this was an uncomfortable place to be. I knew though, that God was going to have to provide the next opportunity and open the next door for me to walk through. I knew I would not be able to do it on my own. So, in this time of uncertainty, I am waiting and trusting, praising Him in the hallway.

Link: https://www.amazon.com/When-Doing-Enough-Waiting-Plenty/dp/1625860838/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1508523850&sr=8-3&keywords=books+by+mary+detweiler

Excerpt from my Christmas reading:

“… the heart of the Christmas story: sacrificial love…love and sacrifice are synonyms, the deeper the cost of giving, the deeper the experience of love and joy. Sacrifice, of course, is what the true Christmas story is all about. It is not so much about giving as it is about sacrificing. (All sacrifice is giving, but not all giving is sacrifice.) … Sacrifice means to give to another person something we could have kept for ourselves. It means to choose, to deny, to love, to give, and to find the deepest pleasure in another’s joy. …

There is no shortage of opportunities to sacrifice. All we have to do is look for the need. That’s what God did when He sent His Son into the world at the first Christmas. The need was twofold: for the human race to see what had been lost in the Garden of Eden–perfect humanity; and to restore what was lost–fellowship with God through the forgiveness of sins. Once the need is identified, the gift becomes obvious. The challenge is to be willing to provide a gift as big as the need. Sometimes the need is bigger than what we can comfortably give in terms of time or treasure. And that’s where sacrifice comes in. Giving becomes sacrificial when we take something we might normally have channeled toward ourselves and dedicate it to increasing the joy of another.” (David Jeremiah, The 12 Ways of Christmas)

The last few years I have chosen a book to read in December to keep me focused on the real reason for the season. This year I am reading Advent and Christmas Wisdom by Henri J.M. Nouwen. If you would like to read along with me, here’s the link to purchase the book:
https://www.amazon.com/Advent-Christmas-Wisdom-Henri-Nouwen/dp/0764812181/ref=pd_ybh_a_9?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=ZNBBG1NTSKVJPMGQ9Y7Z

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