“Inside Out: Part 3-DIGGING BROKEN WELLS|Chapter 8- THE PROBLEM OF DEMANDINGNESS” by Dr. Larry Crabb

Change from the inside out requires that take a disturbing look at the ugly parts of our soul. In the minds of many, that look means nothing more than confessing a tendency toward impatience or a sometimes critical spirit. Most Christians rather easily acknowledge there’s more to their sinfulness than specific behaviors that violate clear standards. Of course, we battle with “deeper” issues, selfish motives, and the like. But the matter is sometimes left there, at a level of non-convicting generality. (pg. 141)

That’s how Dr. Crabb writes the beginning paragraph of chapter 8. If you have a soul that is always concerned with the heavy burden of representing Christ, this bothers you. Yet, along with Christ, this is Dr. Larry Crabb’s assertion, so much so that you change in order to be more like Christ. I try to clothe myself in Christ’s righteousness in order so that I can fulfill 1 Peter 2:21 which says,

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

On page 143 Dr. Crabb addresses our spirit of demandingness when he says in one of the last paragraphs that

Weighed tightly in our thirsty soul is the ugly disease of a demanding spirit. Change from the inside out requires that we our problem of demandingness and do something about it. The spirit of demandingness must be identified, recognized in all of its ugliness, and abandoned in repentance. Think with me about the problem from three angles: (1) how God views the problem, (2) how the problem develops, and (3) what God does with it. (pg. 143)

He addresses the 3 angles from Scripture, from one of the five books of the law, Numbers, to mostly concentrating on the life of Job. If you are not familiar with the life of Job, let me feebly try to retell his story in a few sentences. God was pleased with the way Job was conducting his life knowing that Job always put God first. Satan goes before God and said the only reason why Job blesses You is because You have made everything good for him, but the moment Job experiences trials in his life, then he will turn from You. So God gives Satan permission to make life extremely difficult for him, except that Satan can’t take his life.

It is during this process that Job loses sons and daughters, his wife isn’t helpful at all because it was her recommendation to curse the Almighty One and die, right down to his closest friends who misunderstood God’s purpose for Job’s suffering.

We are told that Job repented. Of what? Job abandoned his demand for relief, realizing it was uniquely unbecoming to demand anything from God.

How does one repent of a demanding spirit? What does it mean to trust God with our thirst and to abandon our self-protection? Before we examine these questions in Part Four, perhaps a further discussion of what it takes to expose the dirt inside the cup and dish is in order (Matthew 23:26).

____

Links to the story of Job:

“The Book of Job”-the Bible Project

“The Book of Job Explained”-Inspiring Philosophy

“Finding Normal: An Uninvited Change, An Unexpected Outcome” by Jeff Huxford, M.D.

“I would not proceed to guess what his (Jeff’s) injuries might include. I would remain rational and calm. It was the only way I could keep myself from spiraling out of control. I would trust God had this all under control.”-Jacqui Huxford

Links to YouTube songs:

“Control”-Tenth Avenue North

“God Is In Control”-Covenant Worship

“God Is In Control”-Sandi Patti

“Finding Normal: An Uninvited Change, An Unexpected Outcome” by Jeff Huxford, M.D.

“I had forgotten to put my wedding ring on that morning, and as weird as it sounds, I was insistent that we needed to go back to the house and get it before heading to the hospital.”-Jacki Huxford

Please click on this link:

“This Ring”-(unknown on YouTube)

“Finding Normal: An Uninvited Change, An Unexpected Outcome” by Jeff Huxford, M.D.

Jacqui Huxford, Jeff’s wife, has an important but different view of things surrounding Jeff’s almost fatalistic car accident. As she faced breaking the news of the car accident to their kids, she didn’t know what to do except for having the Holy Spirit guide her into it just like the Holy Spirit guided Jesus into the temptation.–

“Something inside me told me I needed to have my kids with me. What if the news was bad? What if they needed to say goodbye to their daddy today? I had to bring them bbecause I couldn’t live with the guilt of not having them around me if something went wrong.”-Jacqui Huxford

Click on the links in order to see YouTube music videos about suffering for Christ:

“Strength Of My Life”-Vertical Worship

“I Am Not Alone”-Kari Jobe

“Inside Out: Part 3 Digging Broken Wells| Chapter 7 Looking In All The Wrong Places” by Dr. Larry Crabb

Under A Clearer View of Sin, Dr. Larry Crabb pens,

To more fully grasp our Lord’s teaching we need a clearer understanding of sin, especially the sin that stains our heart. For ease of discussion, divide the problem of sin into two categories: (1) visible acts of transgression against clearly written Biblical standards and (2) subtle violations of our Lord’s command to love. When the second category is poorly understood, people expend all their spiritual energy in carefully defining Biblical standards and working hard to keep them. The usual result is pharisaical righteousness- or guilty frustration. Dealing with the first category of sin will not lead us to change from the inside out. (page 125)

How true! Even in my own life, I can see “more righteous than that person” attitude in my life. Don’t you dare think that “one and done” philosophy that has so much a part of our society. Instead, I let the Holy Spirit work inside of me to route out all the ways I am not like Christ. Let’s go on.

Under Our Styles of Relating, he says,

A person’s style of relating is like a proverbial snowflake-no two are exactly alike. The design reflected in all of them is the underlying motivation of either self-protection or love. … Remember an important principle: When people deny their thirst, they cannot the function of their relational style. But when their thirst is acknowledged and self-protection is unmasked, then trust in Christ can become more profound and repentance complete. … Progress is slow (real progress usually is), but change is real.” (pages 129, 135-6)

As I look over my life, taking a real hard look at it, I can see Chhrist in my life in the things I believe and do (James 2:14-26). However, if you asked me that question while I was going through one of the trials in my life, I don’t think I could say with absolute certainty that I was acting like Christ, putting my belief in Him, first.

If you like please click on this link:

“Inside Out”-Bonray

“Where Is God When It Hurts?” by Philip Yancey (43)

“As we look back on the spec of eternity that was the history of this planet, we will be impressed, not by its importance but by its smallness. From the viewpoint of the Andromeda galaxy, the holistic destruction of our entire solar system would be barely visible-a match flaring faintly in the distance, then imploding in permanent darkness. Yet, for this burnt out match, God sacrificed Himself.”-Philip Yancey

(This will be my last quote from this amazing book. I hope you get it, but first the Holy Bible in whatever version you can understand. 🙏)

Click on links to have fitting YouTube songs:

“Stars”-Skillet

“So Will I (100 Billion Times)-Hillsong United

“Reckless Love”-Cory Asbury

One Of The Many Meanings We Can Take From John 11:35…

As some of you already know that John 11:35 is the shortest saying in the whole Bible-“Jesus wept.” And it is very easy to miss, and all of humanity is included in this.

We have to look for the “why” in John 11:35. I think we are to busy with maintaining our lives is why we are so caught up. Friends, families, acquaintances, even enemies are enough to keep us busy. Then for some of us, you throw in work and maintaining that mess. You may have additional stressors added to your life as we all do.

If you can indulge me for a minute, then that would be great and of eternal significance. You have to go back to the surrounding sayings that cry out, “Jesus wept.” His friends, Mary and Martha, sent word to Jesus, a miracle worker, that Lazarus, one of His best friends, was dying. Obviously, Jesus and His posse was not anywhere close to the village where Mary, Martha, and Lazarus were staying because “When Jesus heard this, He said, ‘This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it” (11:4). But, Lazarus dies by the time Jesus got to him. In fact, Lazarus physical body had been dead for 4 days, enough for the smell of rotting flesh to overcome anyone.

And so, “Jesus wept” (11:35). Even though He knew what was going to happen, it didn’t stop that salty substance emanating from Jesus’ eyes. I could take many directions from this passage, but I will only take one: if you choose to start a relationship with Jesus Christ and you really take it as a relationship where you get to know Him, then He is a personal God who desires to be shared. Jesus wept over Lazarus which shows that He is personal even though He knows what is going to happen.

The same thing goes for you; Jesus Christ wants to start a relationship with you and keep the relationship growing.
Really think about the words that I am sharing, and then act upon it!

Click on the links provided in order to get YouTube music videos:

“What A Friend We Have In Jesus”-(unknown)

“Friend Of God”-(unknown)

“Forever Friends”-Sandi Patti

“Finding Normal: An Uninvited Change, An Unexpected Outcome” by Jeff Huxford, M.D.

From the chapter, “This Isn’t Normal,” Jacqui Huxford writes,

“Sometimes when things go wrong, you just need a hug and someone to tell you they love you.”

(How True)

Click on this YouTube video:

“Reckless Love”-Cory Asbury

“Finding Normal: An Uninvited Change, An Unexpected Outcome” by Jeff Huxford, M.D.

In order to make it real, Jacqui Huxford (his wife) has a chapter called, “This Isn’t Normal.” This is an excerpt from this chapter after she first found out that Jeff had been in a horrible car accident:

“I had never been in a situation like this. What do I do now? Whom do I call? What do I do first? ‘God, help me,’ I asked. I didn’t know, but I did have enough wherewithal to call my neighbor who had been tending her own garage sale that morning and ask her to come over immediately. I had no idea what I needed her to do; I just needed someone there to make sure I was making sane choices and to help if needed.”-Jacqui Huxford

Links to YouTube music videos:

“Need You Now”-Plumb

“Heal My Broken Heart”-Patty Felker

“Inside Out: PART 2-We Are Thirsty People|Chp. 6- BECOMING AWARE OF OUR THIRST” by Dr. Larry Crabb

On page 97, Dr. Larry Crabb opens this chapter up by stating for us the truth that we don’t feel like admitting to ourselves:

Most of us cope with life by pretending. We pretend that what we have satisfies more than it does. And we pretend we haven’t been hurt as badly as we have. The Biblical instruction not to complain is more easily obeyed when we refuse to face what is disappointing and painful in our life. And yet I’m suggesting we take a look at precisely those things about life that provoke complaint.

How true. We end up dealing with what is, too often, the most simplest ways in order to deal with personal problems because we refuse to have the potential of being hurt.

Dr. Crabb writes,

Even a glance in the direction of discouragement and fear violates our idea of what a victorious Christian should be doing. Many people have been trained in conservative churches and Christian families to deny that they hurt. … We all have a tendency to keep safely distant from each other’s feelings. To deal with what’s really going on inside is disturbing, too uncomfortable; so we hide the inside truth from others–from ourselves. (pg. 98)

He goes onto say,

A focus on the heartaches of life can be grim business, leaving us cynical, depressed, and unmotivated. That’s a clear danger of an inside look. (page 98)

Feeling like you don’t want to go on reading this so far depressing truth? By far, this was the toughest book for me to personally read as he writes,

And pain disrupts life. It can rob us of sleep; it sometimes triggers harsh responses from people we love; it tends to drive us toward immediate relief and away from responsibility. When I feel bad I’m more tempted to watch television than to help my wife with housework. … Why, then, take a inside look? … If the only effect of becoming aware of our thirst is to heighten our misery, then it’s stupid and wrong to look inside. On the other hand, if an awareness of our thirst is the beginning of closer fellowship with God (at whose right hand are abundant pleasures), then it makes sense. It is worth whatever temporary pain is stirred up, no matter how untemporary or severe the pain might seem. (pages 98-99)

Through a series of personal disappointments throughout my whole life, I have found this to be true as 1 Peter 2:21 puts it,

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

He closes the chapter saying,

Change from the inside out begins with an awareness of our thirst. (page 120)

For Jesus Christ says Himself that He is living water (John 4:1-26).

YouTube link to click on:

“Inside Out”-Bonray

“Turn My Eyes”-Bonray

“Where Is God When It Hurts?” by Philip Yancey (42)

“Belief in a future home, beyond this one, should affect more than how we die. It should also affect how we live.”-Philip Yancey

Link to YouTube music videos:

“Good Life”-The Young Escape

“Life Song”-Casting Crowns

“Living Sacrifice”-Chris Christian

“Gotta Live”-Tedashii ft. Jordan Feliz

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

In this part of the book, Jacqui Huxford, his wife, explains all the myriad of emotions she went through in the chapter, This Isn’t Normal:

“‘Jeff has been in a horrible car accident and has been airlifted to Advocate Christ Hospital,’ he said. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Not my Jeff. There’s no way. The tears came without warning. It was as if a dam broke on a lake I didn’t know existed. This wasn’t really happening. We were a young couple with two small children living the American dream. We had everything going for us. This couldn’t really be happening to me. To us. To him.”-Jacqui Huxford

Click on these and will be instantly transported to fitting YouTube music videos:

“Your Not Alone”-Owl City ft. Britt Nicole

“All This Time”-Britt Nicole

“Pieces”-Red

“Broken”-Lifehouse

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

“Dear TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury),

Do you remember the day we met? It was May 3, 2012. Actually, I don’t recall meeting you that day, but that is when you first met Jacqui, Jayse, Jenna, and many of the rest of my friends and family. I didn’t start getting to know you until a few weeks later. At first, I really didn’t know who you were or understand you all that well. I certainly wasn’t aware how much you would forever change my life. Don’t get me wrong, I am most definitely grateful to be doing as well as I am because I know you have left others far worse off than me. But still, your presence has affected everything about me. You changed my life in ways I could have never imagined. You ultimately took away my ability to be a doctor, and I was forced to redefine myself. I had to find another purpose. I had to find what my doctors continually stressed to me, a ‘new normal.’ Because of you, there are some days I have a hard time recognizing the man I have become. So, in case you forgot, let me remind you again. You can leave at any time! -JEFF”-Jeff Huxford, M.D.

Just click the underlined blue line that will immediately transfer you to YouTube music videos:

“Beauty From Pain”-Superchick

“The Purpose In The Pain”-Matt Hybarger

“A Song For The Suffering” (no lyrics)

“Inside Out: Part 2-‘We Are Thirsty People’-Chp. 5-‘Springs Of Living Water? Then Why So Much Pain?'”

Based on my own life experiences and multitudes of others around the world, both in the past and now, I would say that suffering for Jesus Christ is a mandate. Suffering can go from social to political to mental, emotional, physical, or even spiritual pressure to do what people want you to do, instead of what God wants. For suffering can include two or more of these, or in some cases, it can include all. Dr. Larry Crabb writes on page 83 that

If you really want to feel good right away and get rid of any unpleasant emotion, then I don’t recommend following Christ. (Inside Out; pg. 83)

In fact, it goes right along with one of my favorite verses:

For to this, you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, so also you may follow in His steps. (1. Peter 2:21 ESV)

But Crabb goes on to write,

Preachers all across America are building huge congregations on the promise of unblemished happiness now. (Pg. 83)

And under The Painful Path to God, he pens this:

Until we acknowledge the painful disappointment in our circumstances and relationships (particularly the latter), we will not pursue Christ with the passion of our deep thirst. Or, to put it more simply, we rarely learn to meaningfully when our lives are comfortable. … What we want simply is not there, but as a fallen being, we naturally seek joy in every relationship except in our relationship with God. (pg. 92-3)

OUCH!!! However, if you think about relationships, Dr. Crabb is correct. We care more about our family and friends than we do about establishing a connection with God. Now, I am not saying that we should ditch our family and friends and pursue God, for that would be taking the whole Word of God out of context. Didn’t Jesus Christ say, “Love your enemies”? Yet, humans have a hard enough time loving their family and friends all the time, even when you don’t think its in your best interest.

Links to. YouTube music videos:

“Even If”-MercyMe

“Even If”-Kutless

“Purpose In The Pain”-Matt Hybarger

“Where Is God When It Hurts?” by Philip Yancey (41)

“The mourners feel grief but only as a temporary interruption-A temporary set back in whose end has already been determined. It is, of course, wrong to use heaven as an excuse for relieving poverty and misery here on earth. But, is it not equally wrong to deny an authentic equally hope in heaven from someone who’s life is ending?”-Philip Yancey

Click the links and immediately you’ll be transported to songs about heaven: (😇)

“Heaven Song”-Phil Wickam

“Home”-Chris Tomlin

“Your Presence Is Heaven To Me”-(Unknown)

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

“By looking at these ‘heroes’ of the Bible, I have learned that our faith doesn’t always have to be a perfect faith to be real. In fact, it will never be, and the Bible shows it to be true (Eccles. 7:20).”-Jeff Huxford, M.D.

YouTube music videos:

“Heroes”-Amanda Cook

“Hero”-Abandon

Happy 4th of July!!!

In the United States of America, our country was founded on July 4, 1776. All that call the United States their home, we have just 8 more years then we will celebrate our 250th celebration of freedom from Brittain! I can’t wait! I wonder who will be President of the United States then? Who ever it will be, I am sure there be a lot of planning to pull off a gala that will make the whole world envious.

“America-The Beautiful”

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

“Despite our selfish human natures and what the world is constantly telling us, our testimonies don’t need an emotional plotline to affect people. In fact, our stories were never meant to be about us, and the simple story about finding Jesus and living a selfless life for Him is powerful in and of itself and always worth telling.”-Jeff Huxford, M.D.

This is a link to a YouTube music video that shows us that God is in control of every detail in our life. It is called ” Beautiful Feet” by Lecrae.

“Beautiful Feet”-Lecrae

“Inside Out- Part 2 We’re Thirsty People/ ‘If Anyone Is Thirsty…’ (Chapter 4)

In the opening line of chapter 4 of “Inside Out,” Dr. Larry Crabb says this,

If we are people who know God, who taste Him with a richness that sustains us through hard times of rejection and loss, then we must take an inside look.

If you are a True Life Christian (TLC), this has to be our purpose, calling, and mantra 365 days a year. “Well,” you say, “at least I get relief on whenever it is a leap year. You know, every 4 years.” I am sorry to spoil your fun of getting one day of relief from your hard times. However, Christ uses these hard times, times of temptation, in order to see if you will choose and trust Him or not. Don’t believe me? As 1 Peter 2:21 says,

For to you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might walk in His steps” (ESV).

Just think of Jesus Christ, immediately after He was baptized and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him, the Holy Spirit led Jesus into 40 days and nights of temptation (Luke 4:1-13).

Under Two Reactions on page 67, Dr. Crabb writes this,

For people who are disillusioned and discouraged after years of trying hard to do everything right, the news is good: more effort isn’t the answer. But folks who are satisfied either with their zealous conformity to Christian standards or with their nicely balanced and comfortably moral approach to life need to be directly confronted with the Lord Jesus Christ’s insistence that internal matters be addressed. For them, the news is threatening.

He goes on to write,

Before we actually begin our inside look, I want to clearly state that I’m comfortable with neither reaction. The first one, which fears that self-understanding leads to self-centeredness, often builds on the assumption that personal problems dissolve in the solution of Bible knowledge and Christian activities. … The second reaction, which centers completely on the importance of self-acceptance as the foundation for abundant living, does not define sin superficially as mere behavioral transgression, but it defines sin wrongly as an inability to trust God enough to love oneself.

On page 69, under Dealing with our Desires, the doctor writes,

But even after fervent prayer and concentrated efforts to behave more selflessly, it is difficult to deny the fact that deep personal desires remain. Prayer to ”get over” our longings is not effective. The only way to overcome these desires is to treat them as though they don’t exist and to forcefully choose to put others ahead of ourselves.

But this is not easy. I am still struggling with personal sins that at the root have selfish motives, but that is where I take comfort because I have an advocate in Jesus Christ where He says,

Come to Me, all of you, who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. All of you, take My yoke (a farming device) and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30, HCSB).

YouTube video:

“Inside Out”-Bonray