Category Archives: Brokenness

Prayer and Conferssion

Today’s thoughts come in tandem with my last post.  I think that we often just think of confessing our sins to God, which is an absolute must.  However when there are certain issues (don’t have a list of them) that is affecting ones walk with God, Spouse, Family, Others there is some freedom, support and healing that can happen when we share the confession of that sin with others.  Take a look at this passage:

James 5:16 (New International Version)

16Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

 We forget often that we are a community of brothers and sisters and that we are called to pray for each other, to support and walk alongside.  When we speak of our sin and brokeness with other believers and allow them into our brokeness we are battling the devils grip and hold on is.  Things that are kept secret the devil attacks even harder and tries to bring us down.

This last semester in our couples group I have witnessed not only the power of prayer (its healing and encouraging affects) but also confession of sin, struggles, and strongholds.  I’ve been reminded so much about how we need to remeber to not just listen but to step and pray for the working of God in others lives.

Seek to be and live in community where prayer, conferssion, and accountability can grow. Give God the glory.

~tfkr


Broken and in Need of Healing

I love talking with my friends and acquintances about life and where they have been and looking forward to seeing where they are going. 

One common thread I have noticed is that we all are broken and in need of healing.   Healing that only God can provide. 

This past week I was brought back to feeling broken by anothers pain and suffering that occured due to choices in their past.  This discussion again reminded me of the impact of our actions and sins from the past and how they can still affect us even today year and years after the fact. 

The pains and things that have been left in the past still hit us from time to time and our enemy the devil tries to use these struggles, sins and bad decisions to affect us today.  To destroy beautiful marriages, friendships, lives and carrers.  A song from a band that I heard in high school that used 2 corinthians 4 as a bases of the lyrics keeps playing in my head (even though I haven’t heard it in years).   Focus on these key verses for a minte: 

2 Corinthians 4

Treasures in Jars of Clay

 1Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. 2Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God……But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. 12So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you. 

I know that I should take more time to study this passage especially verses 8-10.  But Right now this passage is speaking loudly to met about the battle that is going on around us.  The Devil is seeking to destroy those of us who are seeking to live a life devoted to God.  He seeks to use things from our past to destroy us.  To keep us from growing closer to God.  From having an amazing marriage.  

So my challenge to you.  When you look into the mirror don’t see the broken mirror of your past, but know that the mirror is made new.  That you are a new creation in Christ and that mirror is made new, no more cracks.  Know that God loves you as His child.  Put on the the full Armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18).  Live on and in the Word, seek to know God.  Do not allow the Devil a foothold in your live, actions, thoughts or deeds! 

~tfkr


Self Esteem/Identity

Its been one of those weeks where this topic has been hitting me in many ways.  It started off in a small group conversation that boiled down to the fact that one of the area’s I have struggles with in allowing God full control is that of my self esteem and natural responses to the situations I’m in. Then it went from this conversation to a discussion with a mentor about it, to a sermon, and then talking with a good buddy.

Self esteem and my Identity were things that I was really conscious of during High School, but it is something that I have thought of less and less as an adult.  We all know that during High School years the battle is to fit in, to be accepted, to be “Cool”.  I know that I struggled greatly with this during my High School years and the years to follow.  Its something that for the most part I don’t think of day to day anymore.  However I have been reminded that this battle of my self esteem/identity makes up a large part of who I am.  It affects greatly how I relate to others, handle situations, and various other areas of life that I struggle with.  I know that it affects everyone differently, but we must remember that no matter how put together we appear, everyone has an issue of their self esteem and identity.

I was surprised when one person in the group discussion said they were surprised that I struggled with this.  They thought that I was more of the type that would say “If you don’t like me thats your problem, get lost”.  It just reminded me that we come off to others differently than we do to ourselves.  It was a good reminder as it also prompted me to remind myself and others that we all have hurts and need to be accepted.

God hit me on the head with this issue and what I need to do to continue to work on it this Sunday.  Jeff our Senior pastor preached from Ephesians 1:3-14.  Jeff preaches alot of great sermons, but this one in particular hit me on the head.  He spoke directly to the fact that we need to connect our Identity to our relationship with God and nothing else.  He used three images found in this passage.  They are that of being Adopted by God (vs. 5), Redemption (vs. 7), and Sealing (vs. 13). It was powerful to be reminded that I am adopted by God, that it is His pleasure to have me as His son.  Also that God was willing to buy me at a price, the price of his Son’s blood.  Just a great reminder that we are valuable.  And that we are sealed, like in the early days and times of Ephesus were things were sealed with a crest or emblem marking the ownership of the item.  We are marked as Children of God, and we are HIS>

Jeff finished the sermon with a great phrase:

“He adopted me, He bought me, I’m His!”

Remember that today and everyday.  Write it on your arm, your heart, your mind, your desk, your dashboard.  Remeber that you are a Child of God, you matter to Him.

Seek Him in every situation and know when the Devil hits you over the head that you can fight back and know that you are a child of God and are deeply loved.  Don’t fall for his lies!


Spiritual Warfare, Brokeness, Fasting……


Lately I have been thinking alot about these issues. I’ve been reminded of good books I’ve read and ones that I have yet to read. I have heard sermons on these issues and taht impact them. And well I’ve seen the need in and around me…

Spiritual warfare is something that the churches that I was raised in ran from and really did not talk about. So for my adult life I have been made more aware of the reality of it and the role that it plays in our lives and spiritual development. Much of the sins and struggles that we face are linked to where we are at spiritually and also the spiritual war around us. Many people in the church struggle with additctions, bad habits, attitudes, and other issues which are honestly affected by the battle around us. As the church we need to be aware and learn how to fit these strongholds and bondages that people face. We need to be willing to fight the fight in God’s power and seek victory.

One key area that I believe the devil works in the lives of Christians is in the area of secrecy. Be it about an addiction, alcoholism, or what not, the devil wants us to believe that we are the only ones that struggle and that no one will understand. That is not true! I was reminded about this secrecy in a sermon from LifeChurch.tv on Accountability. They talked about how most Christians hold back that last 10% of themselves from truthful honesty in accountability. This is that secrecy that needs to be broken so that we can allow God and others to work in our lives and help us to live our lives to the full potential and calling of God!

This ties into brokeness and realizing that we are not perfect and are always in need of God’s love, help and grace. Those around us can also minister to us. We need to get out of the idea that we have to put on this perfect appearance to everyone. We need to learn how to be broken before God and how to allow him and others to see us as we are and work in God’s grace and mercy.

Finally fasting is an issue that since last fall I’ve been more and more aware of. It is not necessarily something that I regularly practice, but is something that I hope to be able to incorporate more into my live. Fasting can help us to focus on who were are in Christ, our struggles, pray for others, deal with and battle spiritual warfare. Fasting is not about what others think or see, it is about our relationship with God and seeking his face in our hunger.

We need to hunger for God and God alone!!!!!

Be challenged, more to come and hopefully on a more regular basis.

~tfkr


Behind the doors the same as in front……

Well, Yes the title is confusing or perplexing but well I think it should be. I have had thoughts for a while based on my struggles that well have been enlightened in someways by my Introduction to the New Testament course I’m in.
Christian have always battled with being in the world but not of it. God gave the Israelites the law as a direction and guidance for them on how to live so that they would be set apart for Him and not be part of the world. However the Israelites continually failed in following the laws and commands that God had set forth.
The church today I believe is in the same boat. Some people are living the lives that God has called them to, and there are others who aren’t. There also are those in between that aren’t living the way God wants us to but is living behind a mask. Having lived this way myself I wonder how we can address the sins in the church and help people to change, to grow, to be made new in Christ? How do we help the church realize that the same sins that are out in the “world” are in the pews next to them? How do we help the church to be more compasionate in their handlings of people who are battling sin? What do we do? How does God want us to do this?
Its a hard topic to address, and a hard one to live out.
The church is the same behind its closed doors as those who live outside of the church doors. there is sin and filth all the same. We need to make a difference. Where do we start? How do we start?
-Lord make me an instrument of your peace……..
~tfkr

Restoring Brokeness and Community

As many people know I am very passionate about community,
and well again as I write I know that in advance that I’m going to hit on the
issue of community and its role in our walk as Christians. Right now I’m reading a book entitled Restoring
Broken Things
by Chapman and
Smith. It talks about God’s desire
and intention to restore that which is broken, primarily us, sinful
humans.
In the early part of their
book they make a statement that I’ve found elsewhere and heard a couple of
times recently, they state ”The Bible tells a story of personal,
not
privatized
blessing.” In writing this they are basically
reminding the reader that their interaction and role in the greater story of
God’s working and in the individual stories of others is important.
We aren’t isolated individuals but
instead are called to make an impact and difference on those around us.
So I guess now the passion
for community that God has given me makes more sense.

God wants us to interact, to care for each other, to love
each other. In many ways God is
calling us to be Jesus with skin on to those we encounter.
We can’t make this walk of life
alone.
We need the support, the
love, the correction and guidance of those around us.
I know that I often feel inadequate to help those around me
who are in the middle of struggles, battles and devastating life issues.
But God and the Holy Spirit will guide
our words and will translate them to the person who is need.

I know that often its hard to develop community and
relationship with others because of our own fears and desires to remain
isolated and not put on a front.
But I believe that it is important to jump into community.
To open our doors, our lives and our
pain to others.
As I sit here in a
Panera Bread in Columbus I think of the importance of Family.
It’s a time of pain and unknown futures
as my wife’s grandfather goes into surgery this evening.
But one thing I know is that to me
family is important, maybe a bit more than friends and those in my community
around me.
But I know that we have
people praying for us who are parts of different communities around the
country.
I know that I
need to start to see my Christian community as family.
As people who I will give up things
for, who I will give my time to, and who I will care for, even if there aren’t
necessarily common interests.
As
we love family because they are family so we need to love those around us just
because they are there!

I enter today not knowing what the next 24 hours will
bring. I want to be the strong one
for my wife and her family.
I
don’t claim to have the answers or knowledge of what to say.
But I will be here with my presence, I
will allow my self to be a vessel of God’s love, His power, and just be.

To be part of community means to sacrifice, to love the
unlovable, and to just be! I know
that I need to learn this lesson more and more as there are people who I have
been hurt by and have refused to talk to them, have turned my back on any
chance of God redeeming the relationship, and even to the point of being hurt
each and every time that I see them.

I want to step more and more into God’s story of restoring that which is
broken.
I want Him to restore me
more and more so that He can use me to make an impact where I am.

Off I go into the unknown. May God bless
all those who I encounter today.

May he restore that which is broken.
And may I be sensitive and open to His movement an
prodding.

-tfkr (6/14/06 9:53 AM)