5 Reasons Your Brokenness Might Be Your Greatest Blessing! Part 2

Is it possible for brokenness to be a good thing? Can we reach a perspective from which to see things differently? Would it be a false optimism or something more?

beautiful brokenness 2

Image from my trip to Bangladesh (2013)

In part 1, we looked at how brokenness is valuable to God. He saw the brokenness of mankind and made a choice to send His own Son as payment for that brokenness.  Click here to read: #1 BROKENNESS IS VALUABLE TO GOD!

Now on to number 2:

#2 BROKENNESS IS GOD’S GIFT TO YOU!

Wow! Who gives a gift that’s broken? God does that’s who. So how is brokenness God’s gift to me?

5 Reasons Your Brokenness Might Be Your Greatest Blessing! Part 1

Brokenness. Hurts even to read that word doesn’t it? It’s definitely not a subject that causes an abundance of joy that’s for sure, but is this really accurate? What if I told you that your brokenness could be your greatest blessing? Would you tune me out or be intrigued by the thought. I guess you’ll decide that if you continue reading.

beautiful brokenness

Image from my trip to Bangladesh (2013)

I’ve become a bit of a self-proclaimed expert on repairing my iPhone. From the iPhone 3, to my iPhone 4, and now my iPhone 5, I’ve encountered a string of broken parts. Everything from cracked screens, to more recently, my battery and one of the cameras.

Now you might be asking why I continue to fix them myself. (You might also be asking why I’m so hard on my phones – that’s another story) Why wouldn’t I just let someone else do that, or better yet, go get a new one? I guess it’s because I hate to pay good money for something I can do myself, and having to repair them has taught me quite a bit about what’s inside the iPhone.

The take-away? There is still value in broken things. Brokenness isn’t always a bad thing. I’ve compiled 5 reasons your brokenness might be your greatest blessing. We’ll discuss each over the next five blog posts.

 

#1 BROKENNESS IS VALUABLE TO GOD!

  • All of Humanity is Broken!

4 Questions For Questionable Things – Pt 4

THIS IS PART 3 OF A 4 PART SERIES

– IF YOU MISSED QUESTION #1 – CLICK HERE

– IF YOU MISSED QUESTION #2 – CLICK HERE

– IF YOU MISSED QUESTION #3 – CLICK HERE

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Correct Path

(image courtesy of http://nos.twnsnd.co)

It was a great job offer! So why wasn’t I more excited? 

I know you’ve probably never felt this way, but I was growing very weary of my current job.  I had a good job with decent benefits and decent pay, but I just wasn’t satisfied. So when a job offer came along I was certainly interested.

It was a much better opportunity with better pay and benefits.  I worked through every possible pro and con. A company vehicle was a plus, better pay, etc. The only problem was it required me to move away. Maybe not a big deal but at this time I didn’t know the extent of God’s will for my life.

As a Christian, I tried to rationalize the spiritual benefits of this move. I knew of a church in the area already, and I could afford to tithe more. I wrestled with this decision throughout the interview and acceptance process.

4 Questions For Questionable Things – Pt 3

THIS IS PART 3 OF A 4 PART SERIES

– IF YOU MISSED QUESTION #1 – CLICK HERE

– IF YOU MISSED QUESTION #2 – CLICK HERE

Jimmy almost always had a container of mints on him. The only problem was that it was a small round container that he kept in his back pocket. For those who might not be familiar, that looks remarkably close to a canister of tobacco that many carry in the same place. He was so committed to his mints that the container left a ring imprint on the back of most of his jeans. He knew it was harmless but no one else did.

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(image courtesy of http://nos.twnsnd.co)

I know you might be saying, “who cares what anyone else thinks?” Many times I feel the same way, but if my desire is to see souls saved and discipled, I will care if it could harm them eternally! After Jimmy realized what it actually looked like, he promptly quit carrying his mints there. No one forced or persuaded him he just didn’t want to hinder anyone else’s faith.  

QUESTION #3: WILL IT CAUSE SOMEONE ELSE TO STUMBLE?

Every decision touches someone else!

This question moves beyond the realm of personal testimony to the arena of others’ faith.  Even if I’ve settled questions one and two, further examination is required. How will this affect some else’s faith? The Apostle Paul made it clear that there were many things that were lawful for him but also had the ability to cause someone weaker in their faith to stumble. 

4 Questions For Questionable Things – Pt 2

While serving as a Student Pastor a number of years ago I used a very simple illustration. It involved a chair and two students. I would have one stand in the chair and attempt to pull the other student up where they were. When that failed (and it did every time), I would then have the student on the ground try to pull the other student down from the chair. The lesson became obvious: it’s easier to be pulled down than to pull someone else up. I used this example when teaching students the importance of maintaining our witness. 

 

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(image courtesy of http://nos.twnsnd.co)

QUESTION #2: WILL IT IMPROVE (OR HURT) MY WITNESS

THIS IS PART 2 OF A 4 PART SERIES – IF YOU MISSED QUESTION #1CLICK HERE

 

Every decision hurts or helps our testimony!

In truth, all of us are living embodiments of the gospel. We are given great privilege and responsibility as born-again believers and yes we are the only Bible some will ever read! If our spiritual lives are dead then our world believes our God is dead. The only easy they will know otherwise is by our witness. Paul, when writing to the church at Corinth, makes this truth plain to them.

4 Questions For Questionable Things – Pt 1

As a pastor, I get asked quite often about matters of conscience and conviction. Questions such as, “Pastor, is this ok?” Or, “Is this considered a sin?” And sometimes I even get questions like, “What do you think God thinks about this particular thing?” Well, there’s not always a clearcut answer to every situation. We are inundated with all sorts of choices in life but how do we know which way to turn? I suppose I could simply tell you to go search the Bible but where specifically should you look?

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(image courtesy of http://nos.twnsnd.co)

As Christians, it is our biblical mandate to live differently than the norm. We have been called to be set apart from the world in ways that many times does not make sense to many.

17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,

2 Corinthians 6:17 (KJV 1900)

9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: – 1 Peter 2:9 (KJV 1900)

 

How My Simple System Saves My Sanity: A Pastor’s Perspective

 Anyone who is a speaker, teacher, preacher, or even a student has to have a system for keeping track of resources and notes. For meSYSTEMS = SANITY!  I have learned that I need certain systems to make any traction in my life. Here’s an inside look at my simple solution.

SystemsI have a Master’s Degree in driving my wife crazy! Now she’s probably the most easy-going person I know but she does have a few pet peeves.One of her annoyances has to do with one particular drawer in my office. She continually threatens to deal with that drawer in her own way, and I have avoided it as long as possible. There’s nothing urgent or super important in there, just stuff that needs to be organized and filed, and that drives her crazy!

This bothers her because she is the organizational queen. That’s one of her gifts. She has the ability to find a place for everything and make sure everything is in it’s place. Some say she’s borderline OCD about it but you didn’t hear that from me! All I know is that she is good at it and that’s good for me – because I’m not!

4 Blessings of Obedience

4 Blessings of Obedience

 

29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. 30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. 31 Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. 32 And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him. – Acts 5:29–32 (KJV)

Here’s The Short List:

  • To yield, in the Bible,  literally means to stand beside, surrender, and become His property.
  • Obedience is the only means by which God’s blessings are distributed.
  • Obedience & Surrender have great power!

 

 

Obedience, surrender, submission – all very unpleasant words in our society today. We have become a people that rebel and reject the thought of obedience. In all of our endless searching for independence we have lost the blessing that comes with biblical obedience.

3 Life Lessons From Your Pool

 

How often do our lives feel like our neglected pools? Mirky, unclear, out of balance, and just plain useless.Pool Image

Recently, we’ve been un-winterizing (straight out of my personal McKee dictionary)  our pool now that the weather has warmed up. After removing the cover and beginning to diagnose the water, we realized it was going to need some attention; which we were anticipating. As simple as that sounds though, I began noticing some interesting parallels with life. So here goes.

#1 GET A GOOD LOOK?

This is the ASSESSMENT PHASE. Every time we take a water sample from our pool to the local pool supply company to test for us, they always ask what the water looks like. They ask things like, “Is the water green?” or, “How murky is the water?” This is also the first thing you notice when you see the pool. The decisions we’ve made, or failed to make, in the previous months have led to its condition.

Isn’t life much of the same? Decisions we make, or fail to make, clouds not only our thinking but our lives in general. Is your life murky, clouded, or even stale? Stand back, get alone,  and take a fresh look at the condition of things. If you could imagine yourself looking from the outside in, what would be your first impression of your life. Be brutally honest with yourself!

Isaiah the prophet found himself in such a situation after seeing himself in the light of God’s countenance.

5 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts. – Isaiah 6:5 (KJV 1900)

 

#2 GET OUTSIDE HELP.

This is the ASSISTANCE PHASE. I have tested our pool water myself and treated it accordingly. Yet, there are many times that things are beyond my understanding and experience. So what do we do? Seek assistance. The professionals at the pool supply have more knowledge and experience than I even care to acquire about this subject. They take my water sample and run it through all sorts of chemical tests. No guess-work here. The answers are definitive and the numbers do not lie. This is what it needs and what it does not need.

I find that I’m not moral, wise, or experienced enough to deal with all of life’s conditions alone. WE ALL NEED HELP!

1 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills,

From whence cometh my help.

2  My help cometh from the Lord,

Which made heaven and earth. – Psalm 121:1-2 (KJV 1900) 

#3 GET BUSY!

This is the ASSERTIVE PHASE. Now it’s time to demand a  change! Here are some actions steps:

  1. REMOVE UNWANTED ITEMS – In a pool it can be leaves, bugs, etc.

  2. ADD NECESSARY CHEMICALS TO REPAIR CONDITION – This restores health back to the water.

  3. FILTER AND CIRCULATE REGULARLY  – This helps to keep things clean and in order.

Wow, what a parallel for life! (1) What in your life needs to be removed? A habit, relationship, hobby, etc? (2) What needs to be added to bring your overall health up to speed?  (3) What filters need to be in place to make sure this doesn’t happen again?

Lets recap:

1. ASSESSMENT – GET A GOOD LOOK

2. ASSISTANCE – GET OUTSIDE HELP

3. ASSERTIVE – GET BUSY

      • REMOVING THE UNWANTED

      • ADDING WHAT’S NECESSARY

      • FILTERING THE UNNECESSARY

1 Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness:

According unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.

2  Wash me throughly from mine iniquity,

And cleanse me from my sin.

3  For I acknowledge my transgressions:

And my sin is ever before me.

4  Against thee, thee only, have I sinned,

And done this evil in thy sight:

That thou mightest be justified when thou speakest,

And be clear when thou judgest.

5  Behold, I was shapen in iniquity;

And in sin did my mother conceive me.

6  Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts:

And in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.

7  Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean:

Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

8  Make me to hear joy and gladness;

That the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.

9  Hide thy face from my sins,

And blot out all mine iniquities.

10  Create in me a clean heart, O God;

And renew a right spirit within me.

11  Cast me not away from thy presence;

And take not thy holy spirit from me.

12  Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation;

And uphold me with thy free spirit.

13  Then will I teach transgressors thy ways;

And sinners shall be converted unto thee.  – Psalm 51:1–13 (KJV 1900)

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How The Right “Word” Can Make You More Beautiful

According to Forbes, the global beauty business amounts to approximately $382 Billion. (http://www.forbes.com/pictures/lmj45jdlf/top-10-global-beauty-brands/)

I have to admit that I only found that statistic because I needed some facts for this article. 🙂

Content Before Cosmetics

 

It seems there’s such an ambition for the outward. Whether it’s make-up, graphic design, curb-appeal, or clothing, we’re always looking for ways to improve the “look”. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve fought most of a day trying to get a Power-Point or a graphic to look just right only to have it crash right before I needed it! It’s in those times that I’m reminded “content is king” in any presentation. We work so hard for everything to look perfect but at what cost? I’m definitely not against putting our best foot forward but not at the expense of what’s on the inside!

Here’s some truths from God’s Word that we would do well to remember:

#1 GOD’S CRITERIA ISN’T OUR CRITERIA

7 But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart. – 1 Samuel 16:7 (KJV)

Here we get a glimpse of what criteria God is looking for. Not the cosmetics of the person but the content of the heart! He looks deeper than our skin or hair. He sees His creation that He gave His Son for.

 

#2 WHAT GOES IN IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN WHAT GOES ON

11  Thy word have I hid in mine heart,

That I might not sin against thee.  – Psalm 119:11 (KJV)

Do we give more attention to what goes ON rather than what goes IN? There’s nothing wrong with improving ourselves outwardly but that can never take precedence over what we put into our lives.

 

#3 THE OUTWARD PORTRAYS THE HEART

35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.

Matthew 12:35 (KJV)

 Focus more upon what you put in your life instead of always concerning yourself with the externals. I’ve know people who didn’t need to go overboard to impress someone or feel better about themselves simply because they had true substance in the heart. Conversely, I’ve known hundreds of people who were miserable and discouraged because they didn’t feel they measured up to society’s expectations outwardly. Let God set that standard not L’Oreal or Avon! Remember what God’s Word says about you and that He loves you REGARDLESS! I guess that’s why I like Jonny Diaz’s song More Beautiful You. What a great song about true and godly beauty.

 

Please comment – I would love to hear your thoughts!