Monthly Archives: September 2012

Commit To Take a Risk

For the past several months I have been training to run a half marathon. A week or so back I was scheduled to go for a 4 mile training run. Three steps into the run I was tired and my body hurt and I wanted to turn around. It was too early in the morning, I hadn’t eaten anything, and it was hot. This was going to be a painful run. This was going to require commitment. I did complete the 4 miles, because I knew that to complete a half marathon, you have to train. You can’t miss very many days. You can’t just train when you feel like it. I continued when I wanted to quit. If you want to complete a race of almost any distance, you need to train on days you don’t feel like it.
Muhammad Ali said, “I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.’ I hope you don’t think of Life Groups as suffering, but if you want to grow in your relationship with God and others, it is not going to come without cost. There are weeks you aren’t going to feel like being at Life Group, go anyway. There will be nights you don’t want to risk relationships, do it anyway. There will be nights you don’t feel like caring for the others in the group, do it anyway. Make the commitment right now that you are going to be at Life Groups every week.

Life Groups are like training for a marathon, they do take sacrifice, but if you put in the time you will “live the rest of your life with relationships that started in your Life Group.” Make the Commitment to take the Risk.

PS – I did run the half marathon and I did finish and because of the training actually felt pretty good at the end!

Pastor Roger Graber
Shadow Lake Community Church
Psalm 115:1

Healthy Acceptance

The word “acceptance” is a battle cry of our culture. “You have to accept me! You have to accept me right where I am! Jesus did!” Hard to argue with that. . . particularly when they insert Jesus into the argument.

Jesus did accept people with lots of dysfunctions including me.

That having been said He never said my sins/dysfunctions weren’t wrong; He never left me where He found me (in my dysfunctions); and He never enabled my dysfunctions.

Our culture wants everything in that last paragraph included in the word “acceptance.” We must with discernment not cave in to that pressure.

I’ve tried to illustrate this with a picture. What do you think?

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Two Principles To Consider

For many years I’ve tested two principles that I believe directly affects my spiritual growth.

1. I treat others like I treat myself.

I believe my treatment of others is more often than not a reflection of how I treat myself in my most private internal moments. You know that person who is so critical of others? I believe that their behavior is a window into the way they treat themselves.

2. I treat myself like Ifeel God treats me.

Although the first one has proven itself to me over four decades of counseling and coaching people, I find this second principle supported in Scripture. I John says that “we love because He first loved us.” And “anyone who does not love does not know God for God is love.”

The word feel is important here as what we know intellectually many times has not integrated itself into my emotional life yet. I might know God is patient with me long before I feel that He is.

The Greeks even had two different words to explain this phenomena. Oida meant to know intellectually while ginosko meant to know through experience.

Until I feel that God is patient with me, I will have little patience with myself and others.

This process can take quite awhile if none of His patience was ever demonstrated towards me in my past or I’m not currently in relationship with other Christians who can show me God’s patience in the midst of them seeing my authentic self. There’s where I believe lasting change occurs.

What do you think about these two principles? You sure don’t have to agree with these observations of mine.

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