Whether You Feel It or Not

Today was the day we decided to tear the stage at church and get rid of all the Christmas decorations.  It’s one of those things that you know needs to be done, but you would rather do just about anything else.  There’s a whole lot more excitement to decorating for Christmas than putting it all away.  Thankfully, it’s all done!

After taking the Christmas decorations away, I was setting up the stage for rehearsal tonight and services on Sunday.  I was flipping through my Amazon library and ran across Matt Maher’s All The People Said Amen album.  I hit play and started moving things on the stage.

During the song Your Grace is Enough, Matt Maher shared briefly about why he wrote the song.  I had listened to it before, but thought it was so powerful as I heard it again:

“I wrote that ’cause I was going through a difficult time and I needed to be reminded that despite what was going on in my heart, those words in Scripture are true, whether you feel them or not, that God’s grace is sufficient.”

What a great thought and reminder: God’s grace is sufficient, whether I feel it or not. Sometimes we let how we feel determine what we believe to be true.  Instead, we should allow the truth of God’s Word and who He is (and who He says we are) to guide our feelings.

Appreciated that reminder today and hope you do, too.  Thanks Matt!

#CrashTheChatterBox

crash the chatterboxCrash the Chatterbox is the first Steven Furtick book I’ve read. The title piqued my interest although I wasn’t sure what the chatterbox was. In the book he not only explained the chatterbox, but described how to deal with it.

He describes the chatterbox as the lies we believe that keep us from accurately and actively hearing God’s voice. He referenced a stat that said the average person has more than 60 thousand thoughts per day and over 80% of those thoughts are negative. Whether that stat is true or not, we’ve all had the experience where we have had a silent discussion with ourselves – that chatter that goes on in our head about whether we should attempt something new or even chiding ourselves for a mistake we just made. In Crash the Chatterbox Furtick gives some tools for silencing that chatter.

One of the things I appreciated about the book is that Furtick kept pointing back to God’s Word as the main way to silence the chatter. In one chapter he used Jesus as the example of how to silence the lies of the enemy. He said this in chapter 4: “That’s why Satan’s temptation of Jesus had no more chance of succeeding than a Guns N’ Roses original lineup reunion tour. Because Jesus was fully loaded with the Word of God. He was literally preloaded with the truth of scripture in a way that only He could be: He was the Word of God.” As Jesus used God’s Word to silence the chatter of the enemy, we need to do the same.

Furtick’s book is filled with both personal stories and other people’s accounts of how the chatterbox has tried to defeat and derail. He balances the personal experiences of people and the truth of God’s Word to provide insight on crashing the chatterbox. At the appropriate time he inserted some humorous story or comment to keep the reader engaged.

I earmarked several pages in the book for future reference. It was a good read and provided insights to help followers of Jesus hear Him above the chatter.

What’s On My Mind

Normally when I put a post on the blog, it deals with a singular subject.  Maybe a review of a book, an interesting video, something to do with #Hoosiernation or the like.  Today is a hodge-podge or random assortment of a couple of thoughts.  Basically, what’s been on my mind.

A huge part of what’s been consuming thoughts and conversations is my mother-in-law.  Last week my wife, along with her brother and father, had to make the difficult decision to put Cheryl’s mom in a care facility.  She has been struggling with the effects of Alzheimer’s/dementia.  It was a challenge for them to know the best way to care for her and address her issues of confusion about where she was and who she thought was with her.  A spot opened up in a very nice facility, but that lead to a whole host of emotions after they moved her in.  I don’t think any of us were ready for the flurry of loss and sadness that accompanied the decision and subsequent move.  There is a period of no contact for the family members as Cheryl’s mom adjusts to her new living space.  Needless to say it has been tough on them, but many friends have offered their love, care and support.  It has been one of those situations where I wish I had great wisdom and words of comfort to share and yet find myself lacking.

Over the weekend, my aunt (my mother’s sister-in-law) passed away unexpectedly.  We didn’t get together often with mom’s side of the family and, to be honest, I can’t be sure how many years it has been since I’ve seen them.  But, as my mom said on the phone, “It’s family,” so with her passing comes sadness.  On-line obituaries and guest books give an insight into the lives of people.  I feel for my family members who lost a wife, mother, grandma and friend.

In the midst of all that, I have been reminded that some day – maybe not today or tomorrow, but some day – we will be totally healed and restored.  Jesus will make all things new.  Sickness will be gone.  Death will be finally defeated.  Confusion will be banished.  Sadness will be no more.  I need that to be continually on my mind in the midst of life’s bumps and bruises.  It’s easy to become focused on the current struggle.  As we continue to press on, I need to know and cling to the truth that He will make all things new.