living beyond my means

permit me a one-day break from the “mclaughlin group” series to address something i read earlier today.  in case you, my cherished readers, didn’t get to see it, i want to share it here for your consideration.

brian kruckenberg was the “guest blogger” on today.  he is the life church campus pastor in mesa, arizona and wrote a powerful piece that i urge all of you to read.

he made one particular statement, though, that stopped me in my tracks (and, in fact, fits in well with our current discussion of the state of the church).  kruckenberg wrote:

“I’m learning that the only way to allow God to truly use you is to be in over your head.”

i gotta’ tell you, i am freshly convicted of my tendency to step into places where only god belongs.  far too often i try to solve problems and fix issues in my own power and by my own skillfulness.  sometimes it is simply lack of faith.  sometimes, though, it is something much more heinous.  occasionally i don’t trust god because i am fearful.  i am far too concerned about what people think of me.  i am easily motivated by adulation and dissuaded by criticism.  i carefully choose the endeavors that make me look good and have little chance of failure.

god calls me to trust him deeply, but i satisfy myself by thrashing around noisily in the shallows.  

i am excited by the idea of being “in over my head.”  i want to wrestle with issues–right out where everyone can see–that i have no chance of understanding intellectually.  i want to engage people who are spiritually curious in a way that focuses on who jesus is, and diminishes me.  i want to lead my people into impossible places, miraculous places.  i want crazy faith, and i want to use it to trust god for ridiculous things.  

but my pride tempers and smothers my faith.  it may look like caution and diplomacy and expediency, but it’s pride.  god knows it and i know it.  for me, the first step to being in “over my head” is to deal with the self-aggrandizing tendencies that paralyze me. like kruckenberg,

“I am scared, yet excited, after coming face to face with the fact that I can’t do it without God. I feel completely inadequate yet incredibly energized at the same time.”

look out, deep end, here i come!


7 thoughts on “living beyond my means

  1. Pastor Randy,

    While doing some research on the net I stumbled across your blog. Let me start by saying your words always find away to touch my heart especially Teddys story and even more Garys story. I used to go to CLA and at this time I wish to remain annonymous. This is the only way that I knew how to get in touch with you other than in person and as the man with the biggest heart of God that I have met I am bring this prayer request to you. I received this email today and I just ask that you pray for this family. I am not sure that this is the right place to be sending this but I hope it touches you and that you bring it to your wonderful church family and then to bring to the Lord. I know that they have a true love for him so I just had to send it to you!

    Prayer request for Gary and Cindy Hogan
    Gary is serving in Iraq while his young wife is fighting cancer here.
    Prayer is a powerful thing .

    Tough times don’ t last. .. Tough people do !!!

    My name is Gary Hogan . Some of you receiving this know me, some do not. My wife, Cindy , is 32 years old and has just been diagnosed 3 days ago with stage 4 cervical cancer and her chances for survival are very slim. She was pregnant with our second child and had miscarried recently at 3 months, and now we know why. This is a request for you to forward this e- mail to every one you know asking for prayer. The more people that pray for her to be healed, the better.

    Please do it and don’ t delete this, your prayer can, and perhaps will save her life. Please pray and ask every one you know to pray for the HEALING of Cindy and the removal of all cancer in her body, so she may enjoy all that life has to offer , and to continue to be the wonderful mother to our 5 year old son, Michael. The power of Prayer is unsurpassed. I want the whole world to have her in their prayers the next few weeks . God will hear our cry. Please do not be offended by my plea. This is only a request for your help.
    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading this and helping with our request for healing! No words can express the power we have when we each do a little to come toget her.
    Regards, Cindy’s in- love husband – Gary
    Thank you, and please send it to the far reaches of our world .

  2. If this is a repeat, I apologize. Sometimes, wordpress doesn’t show my comments right away for some reason.

    The above referenced email may have been posted with good intentions, but the email has been verfied as a hoax and has been circulating in various forms for years.

  3. The post above also made me realize how many can be mobilized to one cause with the technology we have.
    As for the original post, it’s radical. Am I going to need a helmet?
    Most of me wants to go there with you Randy, because I realize deep down what I mess I’ve made of everything doing it my way.
    To be real though, I know there’s so much of my flesh that’s still alive and is afraid. Is that normal? I’m ashamed of myself for that, but it’s the truth.

  4. anonymous: hoax or not, i am touched by your kind words and i will pray with and fo you. come visit us when you can.

    eke: yes, your fear is normal. and the whole point of this quest is to fight off “normal” (aka: my human nature) and live totally over our heads. totally beyond our control. i don’t mean to imply that i have made that choice, but if you will go with me the choice is much easier, my friend.

  5. Randy,

    Like I said this was emailed to me and I don’t know if it was a hoax or not. It touched my heart and someone asked for prayer so I prayed and asked for other people to pray. All the words that came from me where true though. I deeply am touched by you words and you heart. I wish I had the heart of God like you do I can admit that I don’t. I started going to Overflow when I was just in the jr high and I went until I dropped out of school. I never went back because I was ashamed of who I became. I became someone that who in my mind was not worthy of Gods love don’t get me wrong I was not out getting into tons of trouble. I was just not at where God led me to be and to tell you the truth I do not believe that I ever knew where that was. I can’t thank you enough for your prayers.

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