In HOPE 8.24 

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David Timms  


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Recommended Reading

One of the best-sellers in America at the moment is William Young's The Shack (Windblown Media, 2007; 250 pages). It's a fascinating, insightful, and moving novel -- filled with profound and deep theological reflections. The characters and dialogue will kep you thinking and talking long after you finish this powerful and provocative book.

A Prayer for the Week

Loving Father, I offer You this pipeline -- my life -- blocked and broken as it is. Forgive me for receiving your grace but withholding it from others. Scrape away the build-up within me. Repair the corrosion and ream out the corruption. Use me as a conduit of Your grace -- even to those who wound me. I pour out myself to You, that you might pour out Yourself through me, to Your own glory and honor. Amen.

Hope International University
Fullerton  CA  92831


"We are pipes to carry his grace to others and not buckets content to hoard it. Grace comes to us, to go through us, to others ."
~ James Wilhoit


We hoard by nature. We get hold of and hang onto. In a competitive world we gather and guard. (Just check your garage and storage closets.) And we carry this obsession into our spiritual lives.

The image of pipes rather than buckets might help us loosen our grip a little.

The grace of God that comes to us is never meant to stop with us. The saving, healing, and transforming power of grace simply mends the breaks and blockages that have inhibited our journey with God and each other. When the pipeline is restored, it becomes a conduit of healing and hope to others.

Spiritual gifts, generally misunderstood and selfishly sought, also come to us to go through us to others. The charisma ("gift") is a charis ("grace") that aids in the healing and restoring of the world -- not our private worlds but the wider world.

We're pipelines.

Jesus reminded His disciples, "Apart from Me, you can do nothing." (John 15:5) Yet, we try repeatedly. We accumulate knowledge, fine-tune various skills, and get advice. Our normal working model looks more like a bucket than a pipeline. We keep gathering, so that we might "minister out of the overflow." I've used that language many times myself.

But the pipeline model challenges us to think differently. Rather than serve out of the overflow, we strive to be unblocked pipelines for the meaningful through-flow of the Spirit. Instead of more answers we need more purifying (holiness) and more repair (healing).

Perhaps the famous 19th century Scottish preacher Robert Murray M'Cheyne got it right: "The greatest need of my people is my personal holiness." Is that not true for all of us?

All analogies break down eventually, and the "pipeline" may be no different. But it stirs me to think differently. It's not "What have I got that I can pass on?" but "What can the Father pass on through me?" It changes the posture of the heart significantly.

May each of us know the grace of Christ to us and through us.

In HOPE --



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David Timms serves in the Graduate Ministry Department at Hope International University in Fullerton, California. "In HOPE", however, is not an official publication of the University and the views expressed are not necessarily those of the Administrators or Board. "In HOPE" has been a regular e-publication since January, 2001.