Peter Scazzero's The
Emotionally Healthy Church: A strategy for discipleship
that actually changes lives
(Zondervan, 2003; 221 pages) provides some excellent insights into the nature of
effective discipleship in our day. His principles sound quite contrary to
the usual church culture, but have the ring of truth to
them. The book is definitely worth a look if you are
concerned for your own spiritual health and that of the people
Between April 12-19, 2008 Hope
International University will host a series of regional
receptions in southern California for prospective
students and their families, alumni and friends of the
University. President Derry will attend each of the four
receptions to meet those who attend, give an update on
the University, and answer questions. For more
information, go to www.hiu.edu
and check out the News &
Fullerton CA 92831
is a glorious thing to know that your Father God makes
no mistakes in directing or permitting that which
crosses the path of your life. It is the glory of God to
conceal a matter. It is our glory to trust him, no
matter what." ~ Joni Eareckson Tada
I have a friend who did pole
vaulting in High School. I never did, nor ever want to.
The object of the event is to race down a short, narrow
track, plant a long pole into a tiny box fixed at the
end of the track, bend that pole to breaking point and
get catapulted dangerous heights into the air-and try
not to look terror-stricken throughout the experience.
you're good at it, you'll soar over a high bar and fall
onto the soft mats on the other side. If you make a
mistake ... Ouch!
Tim recounted his experience, he made a telling
observation. "Once that pole is bent to its capacity-and
your arms are being yanked out of their sockets-the
crucial thing is to relax and just let the pole spring
I'd be hanging on to that pole for dear
struggled, too. At that critical moment when his work
was done and he needed to relax, he would jerk downward
just a little bit more ... and periodically break his
vaulting pole. (That's a good time to take up
analogy is obvious, as we consider our spiritual
efforts to reach greater heights with the Father seem
too often to end in broken poles. We charge down the
track with fresh resolve to read more pages, to journal
more often, to pray longer, and to serve harder. Then we
press even harder, believing that intimacy with God
depends upon extra effort from us-and something snaps.
Many of us know the frustration and emptiness of trying
to manipulate God. He does not respond to our formulas,
demands, or heavy-handedness.
the very moment when we feel tempted to force God's
Presence, the biblical witnesses remind us to simply
experience it. It's called "abiding" not "straining."
Jesus said, "Abide in me, and I in you. I am the vine,
you are the branches; he who abides in me, and I in him,
he bears much fruit." (John 15:4-5)
tough for us to wait on God (abide) in a culture that
waits for nothing. But strain and drain should not
become honorable words in the Christian quest for divine
"The crucial thing is to relax and just let the
pole spring you forward." That surely means, at some
point, that we relinquish our dreams, ambitions,
determination, and control to Him. Rather than view life
as a series of crazily high bars to conquer, we discover
the joy of the Father lifting us in ways that we could
never lift ourselves.
we break fewer poles this week, learning to "relax"
(abide) and attend to Him.