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Archive for January, 2010

This week Lisa shared her story in Emmaus. Part of Lisa’s story was her struggle with an eating disorder. Lisa spent time talking about her addictions, their casualties, and how the Lord met her in the midst of them and brought her freedom. The picture from Scripture she used was from John 11 where Jesus raises Lazarus from the grave, calling him from death to life, darkness to light, and sickness to health. This has not been a fun or easy part of Lisa’s story but it is a part the Lord has brought redemption to and is using for his purposes (2 Cor 12:8-10). Throughout Lisa’s journey it has been a challenge to be honest with herself and others, let people in to walk with her in her brokenness,  and allowing herself to experience the Lord’s redemption and forgiveness through the midst of it all. But by the grace of God Jesus has brought healing, wholeness, hope, & restoration. Thanks be to God! 

The reality is that far more of us than would like to admit struggle with an addiction. We begin medicating to get through the brokenness of our pasts, stress of our present, unhealthiness of our families, and perceived failures. We develop unhealthy patterns of relating to substances and before we know it we look up and are in bondage. Addictions are real and they are damaging. Addictions manipulate you for their purposes and rob you of the dignity the Lord intends for his creatures. Addicts begin to have their lives revolve around their addiction (whether with food, sex, substances, affection, acceptance, work, entertainment, or other) and before they know it the pattern they develop has a hold on them that is extremely difficult to break. 

But there is HOPE in the gospel. Part of the work of Christ is to “Set Captives Free” (Lk 4:17-20) and if you have ever been brought freedom from an addiction you know there is a literal application of this in our lives! The difficult part for us is to admit we need help. If you or someone you love struggles with an addiction I want to encourage you to get help. Make an appointment at CPC, talk with Mitchell, Lisa or someone else you know who the Lord has brought through an addiction, let people who love you into your life, share your struggle with friends you trust, and allow the community of the people of God to pray for you. When we put our struggles in the light, sharing them with those who love us and want to fight for redemption with us, our addictions lose their power (1 Jn 1:7). Our lives are not designed to revolve around anything but God and when we put something in the center of our world that is not God then everything gets out of whack. Let us fight together for and with one another to restore the dignity of those in bondage, free the captives in our community, apply the forgiveness and healing of Risen Jesus, and be the vehicles for one another to hear the voice of Jesus calling to us in our graves- “Come out!” There is freedom in Christ as “it is for freedom Christ has set us free!” (Gal 5:1)

How can we be more honest with ourselves concerning what might have too strong of a hold on our hearts and habits? How can we be more affective as a community in fighting for restoration in one another’s lives? Thoughts? (click the comment line and fire away!)

Suggested reading on addiction- http://www.amazon.com/Addictions-Banquet-Finding-Resources-Changing/dp/0875526063

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I want to tell you why we named this blog Go At A Walking Pace. It comes from a story in the book “Faith That Endures” by Ronald Boyd-MacMillan. MacMillan tells about meeting with one of China’s most famous house church leaders, Wang Mingdao. Mingdao had been imprisoned for 23 years because of his Christian faith. 

“The first time I met him he asked me suddenly, ‘Young man, how do you walk with God?’ I listed off a set of disciplines such as Bible study and prayer, to which he mischievously retorted, ‘Wrong answer. To walk with God you must go at a walking pace.” 

MacMillan says he didn’t understand the comment, and initially dismissed it. The next time they talked, Mingdao asked him a series of questions:

“When you go back home, how many books do you have to read this coming month? How many letters do you have to write? How many people do you have to see? How many articles do you have to produce? How many sermons must you preach?”

As MacMillan answered the questions, he grew anxious thinking about all the work he had before him. As he thought about the conversation, MacMillan had a sudden insight,

“I need to build myself a cell!”

Mingdao got excited and recounted his experience in prison. He said that in prison he was deprived of everything. He couldn’t preach, he couldn’t write, he couldn’t study his Bible, he was alone. He couldn’t even speak to his jailers. Everything that had given him meaning as a Christian worker had been taken away from him.

“Nothing to do except get to know God. And for twenty years that was the greatest relationship I have ever known. But the cell was the means… I was pushed into a cell, but you will have to push yourself into one. You have no time to know God. You need to build yourself a cell so you can do for yourself what persecution did for me-simplify your life and know God. “

So why did Mingdao say we should walk with God at a walking pace?

“Because He loves His garden!”

Because He loves us. Because He gave His Son so that we could be reconciled to Him, and walk with Him in His garden. He wasn’t telling MacMillan not to study, write, preach, or work. He was telling him, and us, that we have to be careful to not get so busy working for God, that we forget about walking with God. In a world dominated by schedules and to-do lists, with unlimited distractions and entertainment instantly available, we will have to choose to slow down and be quiet. This is our hope and our prayer, that we will be a people who walk with God at a walking pace.

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Have you been to Mud Island/ Harbor Town lately? It is an awesome little  development just to the North West of down town. As I walk around the neighborhoods of Harbor Town I am fascinated by the creative design, use of space, and innovation. The place is beautiful! And on the West side of the Island there is a great park where you can walk, jog, fly a kite, or whatever. Mud Island/ Harbor Town is an inspiring place to me because someone took an area with potential and dignified it with design, innovation, and a generally phenomenal use of their gifts. I love Memphis because it is full of men and women who want to bring this sort of restoration, renovation, and ingenuity to bear in the city. And Memphis has a TON of potential. If you are ever feeling down on the city and need something to help you remember what we can become together go down to Harbor Town and take a stroll, look South at the City (past the Pyramid, of course), and dream. How can God use your gifts to make this place greater than it is? How can he use your gifts to dignify this city and her people, your innovation to bring about her potential, and your God given design to bring our King’s righteous reign to bear? How can we bring redemption to this place and space, our city of Memphis? Think about it. Pray about it. Dream about it. And together, let’s do something about it!

by Mitchell Moore

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Welcome to the Young Adult blog. This space is designed to be an online forum where our community can continue discussions brought up in class, engage in discussion concerning God’s mission in our city and our world, share thoughts and ideas with one another, and post happenings & prayer requests. The main content will be posted by Matt Terhune & Mitchell Moore. Your comments and suggestions are welcome as we hope you choose to engage in this dialog. Please join us as we seek to live faithfully as God’s people, being formed by God’s word, being a part of God’s mission in God’s world for God’s glory, faithfully redeeming this Memphis place at a walking pace.

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