Being Vulnerable

I had a life changing opportunity today – and it happened at my desk in my office.   I had a chance to listen to Bob Goff (Google Love Does)as he spoke at the January Series at Calvin College.   I didn’t have time to drive over and hear him in person, but I did listen to him online while eating lunch and working.

Here’s a collection of the quotes of his that I shared on Facebook while listening.   I’ll have more thoughts at the end……

“Most of the things I was afraid of never happened; most of what I hoped for did. Let your hopes trump your fears.”

“It’s called the book of Acts, not the book of opinions. So let’s do that.”

“Don’t call it ministry, just call it Tuesday.”

“Stop keeping track of what you’re doing that is good. Be available and see what God is up to.”

“If we keep telling people that they are thirsty when they aren’t, they won’t know who to turn to when they are thirsty.”

“If we have a guide we can trust, we don’t need to worry about the path.”

There’s a couple of things/questions that I’m wrestling with after listening to him.    And all of them swirl around the idea of being vulnerable.

We are too worried about what happens – instead we should be vulnerable and go after our hopes and be vulnerable to God changing them.

We are too busy talking about it and attending Bible studies – we should be vulnerable and be out there doing what God wants us to.

Don’t worry about getting credit, don’t worry about keeping track, just be vulnerable, be open to what God wants and be available for it.   As my friend Carolyn Twietmeyer’s Project Hopeful T-shirts say, “It’s Not About Me!”  (By the way, I now have 3 of those t-shirts – very powerful reminders)

Don’t worry about where the path is, don’t worry about where you’re going – just be vulnerable and trust your guide.

In my opinion, there are too many people in the first world church who are too concerned with looking nice, looking pretty and looking like they know it all and have it all.    That’s not what God wants.

That’s not what the unchurched of the world want.   They want us to be vulnerable.   They want us to be real.   We shouldn’t pretend to know what they want, we should just love them.

Who is them?   Anyone who is hurting, who is lonely, who is struggling, even someone who appears to have it all together.  

I’d be willing to venture that of the next 10 people you see, at least 8 of the 10 are facing significant troubles and challenges.    And that 9 out of the 8 won’t admit it.  Smile

Don’t be the 9, be the 1.   Be the one to say, “It’s a fallen world and I’m hurting.”   Be the one to say, “I wish I could say I’m doing good but I need help.”   Be the one to say, “How can I help you?”   Or “What can I pray for?”  (But don’t say that if you don’t mean it.)

Be vulnerable, reach out and love others and watch what God can do.


Prayer–Yes, No or Not Now

I was reading through my personal devotions this morning and came across this verse in Job 33:14 (The Message): 

God always answers, one way or another,  even when people don’t recognize his presence.

Think about it.   God always answers.  

God always answers.   He always answers.

Sometimes the answer is yes.

Sometimes the answer is no.

Sometimes the answer is, “My child, I need to do more work in and through you before I can answer that question.”

But God always hears and always answers.

Hold on to that thought……

I am.


New Year’s Resolutions

I have to admit, I’ve never really liked making New Year’s Resolutions.   So many times, I’ve felt like they are totally unrealistic statements about what we’d like our dream world to be and there is very little that actually blends with the reality that is life.

I’ve read a number of things this year that are changing my perspective about New Year’s resolutions.   Rather than the mindless setting of unrealistic goals that aren’t going to have a chance of succeeding, they are proposing a different outlook on the process……

  • Don’t make unrealistic goals and then set yourself up for failure.   We all fail, we all screw up.   Actually, thanks to Christine Moers, I was able to learn that screwing up can actually be an opportunity for growth and for healing.   So don’t hide failures.
  • Set goals that have more to do with experiencing life, enjoying the times, falling forward when you screw up and deepening relationships.
  • Enjoy the in-between times.   The times that aren’t really bad, aren’t really good but just are.   The waiting times, the times that are often hard for those of us who are very impatient.   Thank you Jeff Goins for that.

My prayer is that 2014 is a year where we all see God, we all see our roles as His people more clearly and that together we make the world a better place – in both small and big ways.

I hope you’ll approach 2014 with a similar outlook.

And may you have a deep, realistic, screwed up, enjoyable and God filled New Year!