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YOUR STORIES

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Jul 02, 2008

First let me tell you how much I have enjoyed the book! Your open and honest sharing, the stories, all of it.  What I most appreciate is the practical application.  I am excited to go through this with my wife, and band of brothers.

I also find it funny how unoriginal Satan is.  Many of the stories you wrote have a similar theme to ones I have gone through or friends have gone through (assault against joy, sleep, agreements with the Get ‘er done mentality - no matter the cost.)  So, thank you.  I pray this has a great impact for The Kingdom – it already has in my life and walk with God.  Prime example – One entry was, "What should I Read?".  After reading the entry I thought I’d ‘give it a go’.  So, I set the book down and asked God, "Lord, what do you want to say to me?  What should I read?"  Immediately I hear, Colossians 3.  Now, I am sorry to say I am do not read His word nearly enough and Colossians would NEVER be the first out of my mouth – I would usually go for one of the Gospels or Psalms, but Colossians?!  Then I said OK Colossians.  Was that Colossians 2 or 3?  Colossians 2? No.  Colossians 3?  Yes, Colossians 3.  I turn to it and Whoa!  The chapter heading in my translation reads, "The Life of the New Man." Just the reminder I needed as I was on a plane headed to meet with a client for several days and away from family.  Awesome!

05 PM
Jul 02, 2008

Our daughter is getting married this April. Lori and I are working on the "Invitation" list. There are the easy decisions about who to invite and who to shun into outer darkness. What’s rocking my internal world are those we should invite for the sake of family harmony, for history, and world order. AHHH!!! So many things surface in me. Memories of slights, profound disappointments, wounding words or actions (Howard dismissing me in a toast at my 40th birthday, my former supervisor’s betrayal and superficial annoying presence; Aunt Laura’s hot then frigidly cold and always self-centered presumptious relationship with us). I’m caught off guard by this rogue wave of anger and disappointment. Lori and argue and in my heated passion I sober up just enough to begin to feel disappointed in myself. My reactions, my emotions. Two things quickly unfold – my desire to love like Christ, relate like Christ, live like Christ whatever the circumstances, emotions or relational grief. And, simultaneously, the shame and self-contempt of not yet being the man I’d like to be… and thought I was. I’m bouncing off the walls about to disengage and withdraw from Lori and the "List" as some true part of me cries out for God to speak.

And He does…

Craig! You have a good heart. You are a good lover. Don’t focus on their disconcerting behavior. If all you see is their behavior, their false-self, they’ll anger and repulse you.

And there’s a pause for affect here, and He continues,

If you remember their story… the wounded-ness and broken-ness the lies beneath their uncaring lives you have compassion for them.

God came for me in that moment… he spoke to my cry. He almost always does. In the following moments he reminded me of Howard’s and Aunt Laura’s wounds, and of my former supervisor’s desperate and foolish response to his own pain. So much shifted in me in those moments.

05 PM
Jul 02, 2008

I was having one of those mornings where nothing is going well.  There was tension between my husband and I.  I was frustrated at our dog.  I was running late to work.  I had a horrible night sleep.  And so on. When I got to work and saw the piles of things that needed my attention I groaned.  Out of desperation, I offered the only prayer I thought I could muster, "Please help me, God."  I wasn’t really expecting to hear from God on a day like this, but he surprised me with an answer.  "Pray the Daily Prayer," he said (it’s a prayer found at the back of Walking With God).  Really?  I immediately thought of several excuses not to. It’s too long, I don’t have time, and my heart is just really not in it.  But with the small hope that something might come of it, I closed my office door and read the prayer out loud.  At first it just seemed like plain words being spoken out of sheer obedience.  But part way through the prayer, my heart came behind the words.  By the end of the prayer, I was centered and ready to face the day knowing that the smaller story I was living prior to the prayer had faded away and I was now walking with God through the day.

05 PM