Intervention.

Supportive_friends_at_an_intervention

Create in me a clean heart, O God –Psalm 51:10

This is an intervention.

We’re worried about you.  You’ve been distant lately.  Whenever we try to talk to you you seem so distracted, unfocussed.  Like your mind is caught up in other things.

Have you gotten yourself in some sort of trouble?  Are you making bad decisions?  Have you forsaken us for something unhealthy?  Maybe it’s your actions that have been problematic, or maybe it’s your thoughts.  You know, unhealthy patterns of thinking are just as dangerous as their corresponding actions.

Okay, we’ll just come out and ask it:  Are you cheating on us?  Of course, we already know the answer.  We’re your parent, your brother, your spirit.  We know you best.  We know every thought before you think it, every move before you make it.

We’re your heavenly family, with bonds stronger than even those of your earthly family.  When you pull away like this, it hurts us.  It hurts the whole Kingdom.

So what can we do to mend your cheating heart?  How can we guide you back into the fullness of relationship—not just with us, but with your earthly brothers and sisters?  How can we help you be healthier?  Holier?

This is an intervention.  It doesn’t work unless you admit you have a problem.  We love you so much, and we want to give you room to ponder who you are, and who you want to be.

Why don’t you take some time to think about it, and pray about it.

How about, say, 40 days?

Have a good Lent,

Mitch

Holytrinity

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After Labor Day

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Here’s what I’m facing:

I sat down at my desk today and took a good long look at the fall ahead of me.  Yikes!  There’s a lot going on.  Do I have the energy?…
I checked the news and see one of the most contentious political races turning nastier by the day…
I fear that this broken world may yet get the best of me…

Thus begins a long, hard fall.

But I’m a rebel.  A maverick.

Let me tell you why.

Today it is officially post-Labor Day.

And when I got dressed this morning, I deliberately picked out something white to wear.

I’ve been wearing this white shirt everywhere I’ve gone today, and nobody has had the courage to tell me of my fashion faux pas to my face, but I know they’re thinking it.

That pastor is wearing white after labor day!

What can I tell you? I was born to break the rules.

Okay, okay, that’s not much of a “rule” to break.  That fashion advice went by the wayside years ago.

Which is good.  Because I think you and I should wear white all autumn long.

Why?

White is known as the color of innocence and purity.

Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. –Psalm 51:7

The Bible also points to white as symbolic of holiness:

 As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. –Mark 16:5

Always be clothed in white, and always anoint your head with oil.  –Ecclesiastes 9:8

 

And so I pray:

Instill in me, Jesus, a renewed innocence, that I may view the world through the eyes of a child, and the eyes of faith.
Grant me, Oh God, forgiveness and protection, that I may live in the purity of your Word.
Fill me, Spirit, with your holiness, that every step I take is a step closer to you.

 

Thus begins a long, hard fall.

And every day will be a labor day.

And I will endeavor

to wear white.

 

Have a great week,

Mitch

 

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Vulnerable Vanity

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How comfortable are you at being vulnerable about your shortcomings?

Well, have I got a deal for you.

In this (imaginary) arrangement, you will NEVER have to pay your car tags and taxes again!

And you’ll never have to wait in line at the DMV again either!  And you’ll get your very own personalized vanity plate!

Pretty good deal, huh?

Well, there’s always a catch, and here it is:

You don’t get to choose what goes on the vanity plate.

Your new plate will come in the mail, and you will be required to affix it to the back of your vehicle.

And that vanity plate will say something that points to your deepest fears, shortcomings, or problems.

For the whole world to see.

Interested?

Well, before you make up your mind, here are some examples of the kind of license plates you might look forward to.

Take a look:


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Vanity-License-Plates14
mLx7y74Cf657V7ncUsAcVqA

P00703g

392rear

b018ce9ab915728de724ea5679170eef

1599-8955

curses-vanity-plates-feature-inline-photo-474321-s-original

22

1770

Funny-License-Plates-18

mWyx2IC0Y8UQkex6vJ2fStA

Those are just a few options.

You’ll receive the plate that makes you feel the most vulnerable.

I’m curious.  If this was a real deal, would you take it?

I’m sure the owners of the cars above would.  Heck, they paid their own money to advertise their own shortcomings.

Some of them even seemed proud of their brokenness.

Kind of a “vulnerable” twist on “vanity”, huh?

If that kind of sacrifice seems helpful to you, I suppose it would make for some interesting conversation, in the least. Go for it.

But Psalm 51 says that the kind of a sacrifice God is looking for is brokenness and a contrite heart.

That means you know your shortcomings, and are vulnerable to God about them, and have a sincere desire to grow in faith.

No extra advertising required.

Now, I firmly believe that sharing your growth areas with friends and family, or a 12-step group, or a covenant group is immensely helpful.

If nothing else, it reminds you that you’re not the only car in this race, and not the only one who’s license plate could tell a story.

So, how about we pick out plates that encourage each other, and acknowledge our humanness, and remind us of the love of Jesus Christ?

Whew, that’s a lot to fit on one vanity plate.

I’d pay good money and wait in line for something like this:

md5dtreXcEahwtbEsxqmXgQ

 

 

 

 

 

 

(But Good God it’s FREE!)

 

Have a great week,

 

Mitch