Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Madonna of the Future (not the singer)

Epilogue from Mark Batterson's Wild Goose Chase.

The Madonna of the Future is a story about an artist who devotes her whole life to a single painting. When she dies it is discovered that her canvas is blank.

She never finished because she never started. (163)

What God given dream is collecting dust?

Instead of living by faith, we let our fears dictate our decisions. (164)

Until we come out of whatever cage holds us back, we will live unfruitful and unfufilled lives. (165)

The Wild Goose is eternally evasive. And that is why He is worthy of chasing.

Maybe it's time to stop praying and start acting. If you step out in faith, confirming signs will follow. (167)

God is able to do immeasurably more than all you can ask or imagine. (168)

The hard way is the best way! Quit living as if the will of God is an insurance plan. Dare to dream great things for God. (169)

It's not about you. It's about the One who wants to write His-story through your life. (170)

He died to make us dangerous.

Go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention. (171)

Don't stop making mistakes. Celebrate your failures. (173)

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Good Old-Fashioned Guts

Coming out of the Cage of Fear - Chapter 7 of Mark Batterson's Wild Goose Chase.

...the aversion to loss of a certain magnitude is greater than the attraction to gain of the same magnitude.

It is our indecisions, not our bad decisions, that keeps us in the cage [of fear]. (144)

most of us are educated way beyond our level of obedience. (144-145)

We need people who are more afraid of missing opportunities than making mistakes.

...dream the unthinkable and attempt the impossible. (145)

The will of God is not an insurance plan. The will of God is a daring plan! (147)

More often than not, the will of God will involved a daring decision that seems unsafe or even insane. (148)

Faithfulness is not holding the fort. Faithfulness is storming the gates of hell. (149)

...we need to get out of the comfortable confines of our Christian ghettos and invade some hellholes with the light and love of Christ. (150)

"I want to run a rescue shop within a yard of hell." [quoting T. Studd p. 150)

As we grow, God gives us more difficult things to do. (150)

You will have to climb a cliff or pick a fight with the enemy. (151)

The most satisfying days are not the days when you had nothing to do. (152)

Saul was a spiritual spectator. Instead of playing to win, Saul was playing not to lose. (153)

...the church fosters a subtle form of spritual codependency.

We take the presence of God with us wherever He leads.

...if God is calling us to go, and all we do is give, then giving is actually a form of disobedience. (154)

If we don't do anything, nothing will happen. (155)

"The difference between where you are and where God wants you to be may be the painful decision you refuse to make." [quoting Craig Groeschel p. 156]

The reward outweighed the risk. (157)

You have to stop living defensively and start living dangerously for the cause of Christ.

Stop repeating the past and start creativing the future. (158)

Lack of goals is lack of faith.

You need a vision for your marriage. You need a vision for your family. You need a vision for your life. (159)

You won't accomplish the goals you do not set.

The driving motivation has to be maximizing your God given potential.

We need to dream God sized dreams because they're the only things that will drive us to our knees and keep us living in absolute dependence on God the way we were designed to.

The more vision you have, the less you will sin. (160)

The way to stop sinning is by getting a God sized vision that consumes all your time and energy. (160-161)
Ouch. Okay, I'm convicted. Mark Batterson has an article on how to write life goals. You can read it here. I read last week and have so far come up with 29 goals as my first very rough draft. I'll post those at a later time. They need some more prayer and work.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Sometimes it takes a Shipwreck

Coming out of the Cage of Failure - Chapter 6 of Mark Batterson's Wild Goose Chase.

...failure also has a way of opening us up to other options. (118)

...sometimes it takes a shipwreck to get us where God wants us to go.

...sometimes our plans have to fail in order for God's plans to succeed. (119) took a snakebite to set up this divine appointment...

But when you chase the Wild Goose, you never know where you'll go or who you'll meet. (121)

A healthy relationship between parent and child moves from dependence to independence. But a healthy relationship with our heavenly Father moves in the opposite direction. (126) is our dependence on God, not our best laid plans that will get us where God wants us to go.

Thank God for failed plans! (127)
Maybe one day I'll be able to say this. At this moment, time, place, I cannot. Failure is a hard pill to swallow. I do everything I can to avoid failure. Maybe that is why most of life is boring. I don't try things that I know that I cannot succeed in.

God is far more concerned about about your future than you are.

God wants to reveal them [His divine plans] more than we want to know them. (128)

God is in the business of positioning us in the right place at the right time. (129)

...our reasons and God's reasons are often very different. (132) have to trust His promptings more than you trust your own plans. (134)

What He shuts no one can open, and what He opens no one can shut. (136)
This Scripture is given an entirely different meaning when read in the context of the One who holds the Key of David. This is a reference to the mayor of the palace of David who had the master key to every room in the palace. The doors he locked, no one could open. The doors he opened, no one could shut. Wow. What a difference. The doors Jesus shuts, no one can open. The doors Jesus opens, no one can shut. How does this effect our efforts to discern God's will?

God seems to be far less concerned with where I'm going than with who I'm becoming.

I think some of us want to know the will of God more than we want to know God.

You can't do the will of God if you don't have the heart of God. (137)

What we call the process, God calls the end. [quoting Oswald Chambers p. 137]

Hard work doubles as gratitude insurance. (138)

The size of our dreams is a measure of our spiritual maturity.

If I couldn't enjoy pastoring twenty-five people here and now, then I probably wouldn't enjoy pastoring a thousand people then and there. (140)

As I see it, you have two options when you don't like your circumstances: complain about them or make the most of them. (141)

"The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want and if they can't find them, make them." [quoting George Bernard Shaw p. 141]

God is in them [your circumstances]. He is capable of working them together for your good. (142)

Friday, June 04, 2010

The Cage of Guilt

A Rooster's Crow - Chapter 5 from Mark Batterson's Wild Goose Chase.

A critical personality is often born out of psychological insecurity. We criticize in others what we don't like about ourselves. (94)

We become so fixated on past mistakes that we forfeit future opportunities. (95)

He [Satan] wants to remind you of your greatest failures over and over again. (97)

...the heights of grace are attainable only after experiencing the depths of guilt.

We can't appreciate the full extent of God's grace until we realize the full extent of our sin. (99)

Start praying for the difficult people in your life, and it will change the way you feel about them. (100)

Thank God for the pressure valve called prayer. (101)

...the Enemy's attacks become counterproductive when we counteract them with prayer. (102) I would add to this prayer and Scripture and even praying Scripture.

If you want to impact someone's life, love them when they least expect it and lease deserve it.

Do you deserve the grace of God? (104)

God's love is proactive. (105)

...forgiveness is the way we unplug from the past.

A tiny seed of bitterness turns into a forest of unforgiveness. (106)

But He [Jesus] did more than heal someone who had come to crucify Him; He also destroyed the evidence against Peter.

Through His crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus destroyed the evidence against us.

It's like Jesus says, "You give Me all of your sin. I'll give you all of My righteousness. And we'll call it even." (109)
What a trade! Especially when you consider that our righteousness is like used tampons.

...all of us have guilty secrets, but it takes a courageous person to confess. (113)

Guilt has a shrinking effect. It shrinks our lives to the size of our greatest failures.

Grace has the opposite effect. gives us the courage to chase the Wild Goose all the way to the ends of the earth. (114)

Jesus reconditioned Peter while the roosters were crowing. (115)
In the same context that Peter failed, when the roosters crowed, Jesus restored him and challenged him to be the Apostle Peter. - My Paraphrase. What does this mean about my failures? Does this mean that Jesus will use the same circumstances, challenges, trials, tests and bring me through it to remind me that in Him I am a success?

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Eight Foot Ceilings

Coming out of the cage of assumptions...chapter 4 of Mark Batterson's Wild Goose Chase. Here's my favorite quotes from this chapter.

...we make far to many assumptions about what is and what is not possible in the physical universe. We do the same thing spiritually.

The smartest people are the people who know how much they don't know. Or to put it another way; the smartest people are the people who make the fewest assumptions. [My paraphrase: "Be Smart; Don't Assume"]

...intellectual humility coupled with curiosity drives scientific discovery.

Humility welcomes the challenge because the desire to know god is greater than the need to be right. (75)

[As adults] we lose 119 questions per day. (76)

Faith is theological. is trusting God more than you trust your own assumptions. (79)

Our inexperience leads to another false assumption that keeps us caged. (80)

God loves using us before we feel like we're ready.'ll never be ready. (81)

Don't stay in the cage just because it's never been done that way Before.

We feel unqualified because of something we have not done, can not do, or do not know. (83)

Quit assuming and start believing.

I CAN do everything through (Christ) who gives me strength. (84)

God is able. (85)

But when I pray, the best I can do is no longer the best I can do. The best I can do is the best God can do.

Prayer is one way we overcome our assumptions and escape our space-time limitations. (86)

Sometimes we fail to connect the dots between our faith and God's faithfulness.

When you give beyond your ability, God will bless you beyond your ability. (87)

Abraham is the patron saint of Wild Goose chases. (90)

"People cannot discover new lands until they have the courage to lose sight of the shore." Andre Gide

You have to be willing to go somewhere you've never been or do something you've never done. (91)

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Dictatorship of the Ordinary

Coming Out of the Cage of Routine - chapter 3 of Mark Batterson's Wild Goose Chase. Here are some of my favorite quotes.

...we take constants for granted.

God is the ultimate constant. (42)

...the sacred becomes routine.

We need to change our routine, take some risks, and try new things. (44)

...if you let routine rule your life, you'll never get where the Wild Goose wants you to go. (45)

One name for God in rabbinical literature is The Place.

The holy ground wasn't the Promised Land. It was right where Moses was standing.

...the inaudible yet unmistakable voice of God. (47)

...have a natural tendency to remember what we should forget and forget what we should remember. (48)

Their (the disciples) experience was four-dimensional, while ours is one-dimensional. (49)

When god wants us to experience a change in perspective, He often does it via a change in scenery.

Change of place + change of pace = change of perspective.

New places open us up to new experiences. (50)

I don't believe in coincidence. I believe in providence. (52) you start is not nearly as important as how you finish.

It seems like I have to run faster and faster just stay in the same place.

You know what you really need? A stop-doing list! (53)

What are your primary God-ordained passions? [question derived from this page] (54)

The way you speed up is by slowing down. (55)

Hurry kills everything from compassion to creativity.

No room for Spirit-led spontaneity. (57)

...spritual maturity - moment by moment sensitivity to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

When we learn how and forget why, we start going through the motions spiritually. (58)

...people stop thinking about the lyrics of a song after singing it thirty times.

We need new words, new postures, new thoughts, and new feelings. (59)

We need to inject a little imagination into our prayers. [derived from page 60]

Small changes in routine can result in radical change. (63)

Moses' staff symbolized his physical, financial, and relational security. It was also part of his identity.

Who you are isn't the issue; the issue is whose you are. (65)

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Goose Bumps

Chapter 2 of Mark Batterson's book - Coming out of the cage of responsibility. Here are some of my favorite quotes from this chapter.

Ironically, discovering something worth dying for is what makes life worth living. (16-17)

...we turn our responsibilities into excuses. The only way out is responsible irresponsiblity.

...responsible irresponsibility means refusing to allow your human responsiblies to get in the way of pursuing the passions God put in your heart. (18)

[Nehemiah's story] A cupbearer rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem is pretty laughable when you think about it. Most God-ordained passions are. (19)

God often uses us at our point of greatest incompetence. That way He gets all the credit.

...that God-ordained passion becomes your responsibility. (20)

And he said one of the greatest obstacles in his path was his responsibility as a husband and father. He told me that he had to confront the embarrassing possibility of failure and the need to move his entire family back in with his parents if the passion didn't pan out. (21)

...pursuing a God-ordained passion, no matter how crazy it seems, is the most responsible thing you can do.

Supernatural sadness and righteous indignation often reveal our God-ordained passions.

If you want to discover your God-ordained passions, then you need to identify what makes you sad, mad, or glad. (22)

God want us to delight in what we do.

Their ladder is leaning against the wrong wall. (Successful at the wrong ladder)

I would rather fail at something I love than succeed at something I don't enjoy. (23)

If you've never identified your God-ordained passions, let me give you some simple advice. Start praying. (26)

There are some things you don't need to pray about. What you need to do is quit praying and start acting. (27)

God didn't send His Son to pray for us but rather to act for us.

If the twenty-first century church said less and did more, maybe we would have the same kind of impact the first-century church did. (29)

...I think this was a spiritual test. I think God wanted to see if the priests had enough faith to get their feet wet. (31)

If we open His Word, God will open His mouth and speak to us through it.

Signs follow faith.

...signs following. (Mark 16:20)

...signs follow decisions. (32)

God will sanctify your expectations, and you will begin to live your life with holy anticipation. (33)

Supernatural synchronicities - moments when the sovereignty of God overshadows our incompetencies. (34)

...good press is the favor of God. (35)

Your passion is Jerusalem, yet you're stuck a thousand miles due east in Babylon. (36) the best cupbearer you can be.

Don't whine. Don't complain. And don't check out. And faithfully carry out your current obligations. (37)

"Find your own Calcutta." - Mother Teresa (39)