“Finding Normal-an Uninvited Change, an Unexpected Outcome” by Jeff Huxford, M.D.

(Testimonies) “I felt I needed something like that in my story to have any meaningful effect on the listener. I wanted a more compelling story that could really make a difference. One that could make a difference in a profound way. I guess God heard my frustrations, because that’s what He gave me.”-Jeff Huxford, M D.

“Send Me (I’ll Go)-Lecrae

“Yours”-Toby Mac

“Beautiful Feet”-Lecrae ft. Dawntoya

“Finding Normal- an Uninvited Change, an Unexpected Outcome”. by Jeff Huxford, M.D.

“One night, everyone was sharing their testimonies at a group that met at our house every week. … When it was my turn to share, I expressed frustration to the group about my lack of a powerful story.”-Jeff Huxford, M.D.

Fitting YouTube music videos:

“Trust in You”-Lauren Daigle

“Supernatural”-DC Talk

“Broken Vessels (Amazing Grace)-Hillsong Worship

“Do It Again”-Elevation Worship

“Inside Out” by Dr. Larry Crabb (Chapter 3- Knowing What To Look For)

Under “Deep Longings and Wrong Strategies” (page 57-58), Dr. Larry Crabb says,

A helpful place to begin is with a record of what God saw when He looked deeply into the hearts of His people during a time when their history when they when they were slipping away from Him. Listen to His comments from Jeremiah 2:13: “My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold any water.” … Notice two observations that the text suggests. First, people are thirsty. … Second, people are moving in the wrong directions in order to satisfy their thirst.

Why do “people” (including TLC’s) naturally have the tendency to rebel even though they have the option to do what is right? There is a variety of superficial reasons, but the real reason is that we, ourselves, have the tendency to never be satisfied. There is this insatiable desire to want more. Just look at our world such as rulers, business people, even down to little children. There’s no part of human nature that compels us to be satisfied.

As Dr. Larry Crabb insightfully says on page 59,

It is with an understanding of these two fundamental elements that we can productively explore beneath the surface of our everyday problems. The first element, deep longings, reflects our humanness and all the dignity accorded to us as bearers of God’s image. … The second element, wrong strategies, exists because we are sinful. … An inside look must anticipate uncovering deep, unsatisfied longings that bear our testimony to our dignity, as well as foolish and ineffective strategies for keeping ourselves out of pain that reflect our depravity. Each of us is a glorious ruin.

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(*Next week we move into part 2 entitled “We’re Thirsty People”)

Click on these links to find YouTube music videos pertinent to the message:

“Broken Things”-Matthew West

“Who Am I”-Casting Crowns

“All Who Are Thirsty”-Kutless

“Where Is God When It Hurts?” by Philip Yancey (39)

“Christian faith does not offer us a peaceful way to come to terms with death. No. It offers us, instead, a way to overcome death. Christ stands for life…”-Philip Yancey

Click on links to get YouTube music videos about life:

“Life Song”-Casting Crowns

“Don’t Waste Your Life”-Lecrae

“Alive”-Hillsong Young & Free

“Finding Normal-an Uninvited Change, an Unexpected Outcome” by Jeff Huxford, M.D.

“Daniel 5:20-21 (NIV) ‘But when Nebuchadnezzar’s heart became ardent and hardened with pride, he was deposed from his royal throne and stripped of his glory. …; and his body was drenched with the dew from heaven, until he acknowledged that the Most High God is sovereign ruler over the kingdoms of men and sets them over anyone He wishes.’ … It was only after he (Nebuchadnezzer) let go of his pride that God truly bless him.”-Jeff Huxford, M.D.

“Pride Away”-Kutless

“Pride Away” (lyrics only)-Kutless

“Finding Normal-an Uninvited Change, an Unexpected Outcome” by Jeff Huxford, M.D.

“It’s crazy what we trick ourselves into believing so we can then justify our unwillingness to change.”-Jeff Huxford, M.D.

Just click on the link to find applicable YouTube music videos

“Change Me”-(artist unknown)

“Change”-Lecrae

“Different”-Micah Tyler

“Inside Out” by Dr. Larry Crabb (Chapter 2)

Chapter 2, which is entitled “An Inside Look Can Be Frustrating,” Dr. Larry Crabb says on page 46,

I want to taste the goodness of God to such an extent that I’m confident of the joy ahead. This kind of change calls for more than a dedicated effort on my part can produce. I’m talking about change in the very depths of my being, change of which I have less a taste than a vision, change I see little of in many, a great deal of in few, and fully manifested in only One. I want this kind of change…

True Life Christians (TLC) deep down have an aversion to change, for it says in the Holy Scriptures,

For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23, KJV)

The Apostle Paul says in Romans 7:21-25 (NCV),

So I have learned this rule: When I want to do good, evil is there with me. But I see another law working in my body, which makes war against the law that my mind accepts. The other law working in my body is the law of sin, and it makes me prisoner. What a miserable man I am! Who will save me from this body that brings me death? I thank God for saving me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Even the Apostle Paul had some struggles with sin. Yet change is possible with Jesus Christ at the center of your life through the Holy Spirit. For Dr. Crabb says this on page 47,

Our Lord made it clear that doing right in His eyes required far more than a performance of certain activities. The entire law, He said, could be summarized in two commands: Love God and love others. We cannot honor these exhortations in even the smallest measure without profound internal change. Moral effort alone can never produce genuine love.

For us, TLC’s, the question is not if we will change but when. We owe it to Christ. For TLC’s have a calling on their life, and it is found in 1 Peter 2:21 which cries,

For to this you have been called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you may walk in His steps. (ESV)

Please click on this link:

“Inside Out”-Bonray

“Where Is God When It Hurts?” by Philip Yancey (38)

“The healthiest body is the one who feels the pain of its weakest part. In the same way, we members of Christ’s body should learn to attain to the pains of the rest of the body. In so doing, we becomes members of Christ’s risen body.”-Philip Yancey

“Broken Together”-Casting Crowns

“Finding Normal-an Uninvited Change, an Unexpected Outcome” by Jeff Huxford, M.D.

“If we’re not chasing Jesus, we are chasing a lie. Let us choose to pick up our crosses daily, pursue after the hope in Jesus, and dedicate our lives to making much of Him and nothing of ourselves.”-Jeff Huxford, M.D.

Click on the links to see YouTube music videos:

“Chasing You”-Jenn Johnson

“Me Without You”-Toby Mac

“Till The Day I’ll Die”-Toby Mac

“The More I Seek You”-Kari Jobe

“Finding Normal-an Uninvited Change, an Unexpected Outcome” by Jeff Huxford, M.D.

“Movies, music, advertisements, fame, materialism, money, billboards, magazines, social media. All of these things, although not always bad, can tempt and persuade you to chase after something other than Christ.”-Jeff Huxford, M.D.

Now here some links that will provide you with YouTube music videos:

“Follow You”-Mac Mac & Miseal

“Word”-P. Lo Jetson

“Walk By Faith”-Dee

“Be Observant”-Rob John

“Inside Out” by Dr. Larry Crabb (chapter 1)

Chapter 1 is entitled “Real Change Requires An Inside Look.” However, for all of us, the word change scares us. Not because of the actual word, change, for it is simple in stature. Let me give you a couple of examples: Someone has the wrong time on their watch, so you ask them to change it to the correct time providing an example of the correct time, or say you are going down a road, but you are forced to make a change in direction due to road construction on the path that you normally take.

No, this is not the “change” the author of this book is talking about, for Dr. Larry Crabb starts off with the title he has given to his first chapter, “Real Change Requires An Inside Look.”

He wants Christians to change from the inside out to become more like Christ, and although this change is hard, it is what we are called to do. 1 Peter 2:21 puts it succinctly as the apostle Peter states,

For to this, you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you may follow in His steps. (ESV)

On page 38 of “Inside Out,” Jesus says,

Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but on the inside, they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First, clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean. (Matthew 23:25-26 NIV 1984)

Can’t you see that we (True Life Christians) can be as “blind” as the Pharisee? We have to be careful: every word that comes out of our mouth, every thought, every action we perform or don’t do. For we have to be vigilant on every word, thought, or action or inaction we do and to stay as close to Jesus Christ like clothes stuck to your body when it rains.

Links that provide you with YouTube Christian music videos:

“Joyful Noise”-Flame ft. Lecrae

“Clean This House”-Isaac Caree

“Start Over”-Flame ft. NF

“Be Observant”-Rob John

“Where Is God When It Hurts?” by Philip Yancey (37)

“As I read Paul’s words an image comes to mind of a mother tuning into her child’s wordless cry. I know mothers, who through years of experience, have learned to determine a cry for food from a cry for attention. An earache cry from a stomach ache cry. To me, the sounds are identical. But not to the mother, who instinctively determines the meaning to the helpless child’s cry. The Spirit of God has resources of sensitivity beyond that of the wisest mother. Paul says that Spirit lives inside of us.”-Philip Yancey

Click on the YouTube song that fits you:

“Lord, I Offer My Life To You”-Hillsong United

“Don’t Waste Your Life”-Lecrae ft. Cam & Dwayne Triumf

“Finding Normal-an Uninvited Change, an Unexpected Outcome” by Jeff Huxford, M.D.

“I was accomplishing everything I had always dreamed of. The job, the wife, the kids, the house, all of it. Things were going incredibly well from the outside looking in. And I always made sure to, at least, include Jesus in everything I was doing and trying to accomplish. He was more than welcome to be a part of my life. I just wasn’t ready to give Him total control of it.”-Jeff Huxford, M.D.

Just click on the links provided in order to see YouTube music videos about giving it all to Christ:

“Start Over”-Flame ft. NF

“Sweet Victory”-Trip Lee

“Don’t Waste Your Life”-Lecrae

“Finding Normal-an Uninvited Change, an Unexpected Outcome” by Jeff Huxford, M.D.

“I am not trying to downplay the importance I did during these (college) years because I think God still used them for a lot of good. But much of what I was doing was motivated by selfish desires, and I wanted to impress people with my commitment to my faith in spite of a busy schedule.”-Jeff Huxford, M.D.

“Committed”-Newsboys

“Till The Day I Die”-Toby Mac

“Inside Out”

I have decided to share one of my favorite books, piece by piece and chapter by chapter. Although convicting to the status quo of modern Christianity, many of the True Life Christians (TLC’s) are preaching, singing, doing plays about, and/or blogging about what it means to have a True Life.

In the introduction, “The False Hope of Modern Christianity,” Dr. Larry Crabb says,

Modern Christianity, in dramatic reversal of its Biblical form, promises to relieve pain of living in a fallen world. … Either way, the point of living the Christian life has shifted from knowing and serving Christ till He returns to soothing, or at least ignoring, the ache in our soul. (17)

True. Although this book was written in 1988, it still holds true, even more so today. I am tired of banging my head up against the wall urging people to smarten up to the reality that God has placed eternity inside our souls (Ecclesiastes 3:11, NIV). However, for us, TLC’s the battle still rages on where we need to pray, heed the instruction that God gives us in His Word, and then take action meanwhile praying through it all.

For it says on pages 23 and 24,

God wants to change us into people who are truly noble, people who reflect an unswerving confidence in who He is, which equips us to face all of life and still remain faithful. … God wants us to be courageous people who are deeply bothered by the horrors of living as part of a fallen race, people who look honestly at every struggle, who feel overwhelmed by what we see, yet emerge prepared to live: scarred, still troubled, but deeply loving. … But this kind of change- change from the inside out- is worth the pain. It makes the Christian life possible. It frees us to groan without complaint, to love in spite of our emptiness, and to wait for the complete satisfaction we so desperately desire.

Click on these links to see Christian music videos on YouTube:

“From the Inside Out”-Hillsong

“Change”-Lecrae