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The white flag of whatever

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When you’re tired of fighting and never getting anywhere.

When you promise to do better, to be better but you never do and never are.

When you’ve stopped being an active participant and chosen instead to just get thru another endless day.

When you’ve stopped caring about your dreams because they seem so unreachable and it hurts too much to dream anymore.

That’s when you wave the white flag of whatever.

It signifies you don’t care because caring feels too vunerable.

Caring puts you in danger of having old wounds reopened.

But maybe rather than waving the white flag of whatever, what you should really do is surrender.

To get in line with a bigger plan which may not include the things you want.

Just the things you need.

And contrary to what you may think, the master planner knows exactly what you need.

It’s Him.

It’s always been Him.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Cor 12:9

It’s your choice.

And surrender is an act which must be repeated. Daily for the most stubborn of us.

It’s your life.

Live it or live in it.

I’ve got my reasons

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We’ve started a new sermon and small group series at C3 called “Not a Fan”. Here’s a VERY brief introduction:

It’s all about being a committed follower of Jesus Christ rather than just an enthusiastic admirer. Jesus has millions of fans. Far fewer followers. I’d love to tell you I’m a follower, but I can’t honestly say that, because there are plenty of things I put before God. In Sunday’s sermon, Jeff quoted a line from a song by Nickel Creek called Reasons Why: “Others have excuses, but I have my reasons why.”

That really hit home for me. It’s easy to look at someone else and judge what we think is separating them from truly following Jesus: pride, past hurts, addiction, the Church. Heck, even religion often separates us from Him.

But with other folks, those are all just excuses, aren’t they?

It’s different for me.



Where am I today, I wish that I knew
‘Cause looking around there’s no sign of you
I don’t remember one jump or one leap
Just quiet steps away from your lead

I’m holding my heart out but clutching it too
Feeling this sort of a love that we once knew
I’m calling this home when it’s not even close
Playing the role with nerves left exposed

Standing on a darkened stage
Stumbling through the lines
Others have excuses
But I have my reasons why

We get distracted by the dreams of our own
But nobody’s happy while feeling alone
And knowing how hard it hurts when we fall
We lean another ladder against the wrong wall

And climb high to the highest rung
To shake fists at the sky
While others have excuses
I have my reasons why

With so much deception
It’s hard not to wander away
It’s hard not to wander away
It’s hard not to wander away

It’s easy to allow ourselves to believe we cling to reasons rather than excuses. In my case, I often think my biggest fear is that I ever truly give everything over to God, there are certain things that I’ll never get back. In the end, I need to get to a place where I ask God to give me what I need. Not the things I want.

How about you?

Reasons or excuses?

Going through the valley

Reading for November 1st from Oswald Chamber’s My Utmost for His Highest:


“Know ye not that . . ye are not your own?” 1 Corinthians 6:19

There is no such thing as a private life – “a world within the world” – for a man or woman who is brought into fellowship with Jesus Christ’s sufferings. God breaks up the private life of His saints, and makes it a thoroughfare for the world on the one hand and for Himself on the other. No human being can stand that unless he is identified with Jesus Christ. We are not sanctified for ourselves, we are called into the fellowship of the Gospel, and things happen which have nothing to do with us, God is getting us into fellowship with Himself. Let Him have His way, if you do not, instead of being of the slightest use to God in His Redemptive work in the world, you will be a hindrance and a clog.

The first thing God does with us is to get us based on rugged Reality until we do not care what becomes of us individually as long as He gets His way for the purpose of His Redemption. Why shouldn’t we go through heartbreaks? Through those doorways God is opening up ways of fellowship with His Son. Most of us fall and collapse at the first grip of pain; we sit down on the threshold of God’s purpose and die away of self-pity, and all so called Christian sympathy will aid us to our death bed. But God will not. He comes with the grip of the pierced hand of His Son, and says – “Enter into fellowship with Me; arise and shine.” If through a broken heart God can bring His purposes to pass in the world, then thank Him for breaking your heart.

After Surrender – What? (by Oswald Chambers)

“I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me to do.” John 17:4

Surrender is not the surrender of the external life, but of the will; when that is done, all is done. There are very few crises in life; the great crisis is the surrender of the will. God never crushes a man’s will into surrender, He never beseeches him, He waits until the man yields up his will to Him. That battle never needs to be re-fought.

Surrender for Deliverance. “Come unto Me and I will give you rest.” It is after we have begun to experience what salvation means that we surrender our wills to Jesus for rest. Whatever is perplexing heart or mind is a call to the will – “Come unto Me.” It is a voluntary coming.

Surrender for Devotion. “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself.” The surrender here is of my self to Jesus, my self with His rest at the heart of it. “If you would be My disciple, give up your right to yourself to Me.” Then the remainder of the life is nothing but the manifestation of this surrender. When once the surrender has taken place we never need “suppose” anything. We do not need to care what our circumstances are, Jesus is amply sufficient.

Surrender for Death. John 21:18-19. “. . . another shall gird thee.” Have you learned what it means to be bound for death? Beware of a surrender which you make to God in an ecstasy; you are apt to take it back again. It is a question of being united with Jesus in His death until nothing ever appeals to you that did not appeal to Him.

After surrender – what? The whole of the life after surrender is an aspiration for unbroken communion with God.

(From “My Utmost for His Highest” daily devotions by Oswald Chambers)