Tag Archives: holiness

Succeeding in Failing

Failure One time, I told a mom I know, “Wow, you’re really patient!” She laughed, rolled her eyes, and said, “I wish! You must only see me on my good days!”

Another time, I told a friend, “You play guitar really well! You’ve definitely got a gift.” He responded, “Yeah, well, you should see the guys who really know how to play. I try my best, though…”

Someone told me once, “I really like your artwork. You’re really talented.” I immediately responded, “Well, I like doing it, but I still have a hard time getting the proportions right, and on this one, this part is all wrong, and this part didn’t turn out how I wanted…”

Because I have some natural talent in art, I see all my failures when I make a piece of art. I see the shapes are wrong, the colors are ugly, the piece is expressionless and without emotion… I see these failures because I have a talent here. If I had no talent in art, I would not see my failures. I would have no idea of how far I was from where I could be, should be.

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On the fear of God and invisibility

invisible-man

In a lot of ways, this post is about one of the biggest struggles I have here in Romania.

Living in a city of two million and in a country whose language and culture I barely understand, far from most friends and family and away from the people who have held me accountable for years, I often feel invisible.  I could probably go the whole day and not run into a single familiar face or have a single person say “Bună ziua, hello” or “Cum eşti?  How are you?”  It’s embarrassing, but I’ve often had to stop myself from taking care of… errr, well… nasal maintenance in public.  I just sometimes forget that people really do notice I’m here.

I’m tempted to think I’m invisible, unnoticed.

There’s a deeper truth here than just remembering not to embarrass yourself in public.

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Holiness and Liberty

As we go through this roller-coaster ride of planting a church in Bucureşti, I have often found myself asking:  “Why on earth did we decide we needed to do this, anyhow?”  These last few weeks, as numbers have dipped especially low, this question has had a tendency to come to mind much more frequently.

So, why are we planting a church here in Bucureşti?

There are many reasons.  Here’s one:  România needs more bodies of believers who trust God for total holiness and experience his total liberty.

Some churches believe that holiness isn’t really attainable and so you might as well just go on sinning and trust Jesus forgives you.  Others seem to think the entire Christian life is an austere and painful struggle to live holy and free from any and every minute imperfection in spirit, soul, and body.

I believe the Bible teaches holiness is completely attainable and that through Jesus we also have incredible liberty.  This is an important dichotomy:  we can be totally and fully pure before God, in body, soul, and spirit; and we can also enjoy life to the full and experience tremendous liberty.

Here are thirteen quick thoughts related to holiness and liberty:

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Please, please, don’t abort the baby

Shows the total abortions to date as a percentage of each country’s current population.

Last night, when we met with Vasilica to encourage her in her walk with God, she told us she had seen a couple visions this last week while praying for us. First, she had seen a picture of Jason and a woman leading a flock of sheep. Next, she had seen a picture of Jake and Jessie, and Jessie was pregnant.

When she shared about Jessie being pregnant, she turned very serious and said in Romanian, “Please, please, don’t abort the baby.”

“Da, sigur,” Jake responded. “Yes, of course.”

Then Vasilica turned to Jason and repeated in faster and more emphatic Romanian: “Tell them not to have an abortion. Tell him.”

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10 Stupid Things Ministers Should Never Do

The following article by J. Lee Grady appeared in www.charismamag.com on 12/5/2012.  I thought it was so great, I wanted to share it with all of you.

If you aspire to ministry, don’t be stupid. Decide now to avoid these obvious pitfalls.

I had the privilege of sharing a pulpit with Dr. Mary Ann Brown two times. She was bold, prophetic and painfully blunt. People who hate women preachers hated her even more because of her no-nonsense sermons—always delivered in her Texas twang. She would get her audience laughing and then skewer them with a hot blade of truth.

When this spiritual giant died last month at age 73, I remembered the last words she said to me when we were together at a conference in Chicago in 2011. After lamenting the fact that so many ministers in the United States were failing, Mary Ann locked eyes with me and said with stern, motherly authority: “Lee, please don’t ever get stupid.”

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Lessons from Jericho: Examine the Stronghold Closely

I have been getting a lot lately out of the story of the fall of Jericho (Joshua 5:13-6:27).  Not only has it been intellectually interesting, but the things God has been showing me have been strengthening to my own walk with him.  I had gotten lazy in the walk of holiness, and I realized a few weeks ago that a spiritual stronghold of the enemy had begun to take root in my heart.

In an earlier post, I brought up how the battle starts in recognizing that you are called to be holy to Jesus, separate from the world, set aside solely for his purposes.  It’s what he has called you to, and it’s where he intends to take you.

The next post, I brought up how God must be an integral part of your relation to this city.  If you want to see it go, you’ve got to look at it with God at your side or you’ll get overwhelmed and decide to give up.  Before you even go to battle, when you’re just sitting there looking at the stronghold, seek God’s advice, ask for his help, and follow his directions.

Today, I want to look at the deeply uncomfortable but absolutely vital next step…

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Lessons from Jericho: Invite God into the Midst

As I was reading through Joshua and the story of the taking of Jericho (Joshua 5:13-6:27), God began to draw my attention to some insights in fighting strongholds of sin in my own life.  Many of us are currently or have in the past dealt with an area of sin that seems like it just won’t let go.  For many this means an addiction like pornography or masturbation (Woohoo! Here come the hits from Google!), alcohol and other drugs, or simply entertainment (the all-around favorite in America).

In an earlier post, I wrote how the first step is to understand that we are called to, created for, destined for, and going to get total holiness.  It’s in our DNA, and God intends to bring us there.  The same message the angel gave to Joshua needs to enter our heart as well:  “This is holy ground.”

But how do we become that holy ground?  How do we get to that place?  How does the “supposed to be” become the “already is”?

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