A place where truth resides

Last night I attended my regular men’s group meeting. I really didn’t want to go. I had a hard day filled with difficult people, deadlines, and non-stop running. I was tired and wanted to just flop on the couch and relax.

I’m so glad I went.

I used to lead a men’s group. When Sharon and I left our long-time church last August, leaving those men behind was frankly, for me, the hardest part of leaving. I miss those guys terribly. I never thought I’d be able to develop a bond with others that I had with those guys. I desperately miss those Monday nights. We could share anything with each other and it was a place where God spoke to each of us. Countless times, God would gently (or not so gently) speak truth into my life as I facilitated the group.

Last night, in my new men’s group at our new church, God spoke truth into my life through the material and through each man as he shared his thoughts, struggles, and his victory. I sat there as one of the guys, sharing and receiving truth.

Do you have a place like that to go? Do you have a place to go and receive truth, other than your normal seat on a Sunday morning? It’s an important question to ask, if you hope to grow… if you hope to receive encouragement and hope… if you hope to receive truth that you otherwise would never receive by reading your Bible at home or by praying in your quiet place or even by sitting in your regular seat on Sunday morning.

Don’t get me wrong. Reading your Bible at home is important — extremely important, and is the main way God speaks to His people today. Going to your prayer closet or quiet place is extremely important. You need to humbly come into God’s presence each and every day. Attending weekly corporate worship with a group of like-minded believers is tremendously important. It is uplifting, encouraging and brings good news into your life and into the lives of those around you (or at least it should).

But we were created for community and it’s in community where God’s grace also flows. A community is a safe place where you are free to be yourself, warts and all. It’s a place where you find love, acceptance, encouragement, and accountability. It’s a place where truth resides.

I miss those Monday night guys so much. But I’ve found a place where truth resides, and believe me when I say it: the truth does set you free! (John 8:32)

The Power of Accountability

Thank you.

“For what?”, you ask.

For holding me accountable.

“How in the heck am I doing that? What are you talking about!?!”

Let me explain.

At some point, over a year ago, I promised Donna and her daughter, Amanda, that I would pray for Donna as she began her journey through cancer treatments. We all promise to pray for folks, and if you’re like me, you’ve said the words, “I’ll be praying for you.” This time I wanted to assure her that I’d be praying every day.

So I began praying each morning and then I’d post an encouraging message borne out of my prayer time, tagging Donna and Mandy so they’d know I’m committed to pray each day. As I did this daily, God seemed to draw closer and closer. And I wanted Him more and more.

Then, to help my prayer time, I began a Bible-reading plan to read the Bible in a year. That sounds daunting, but was much easier than expected. I played an audio version and read along each day. It took about 15 minutes a day. 15 minutes. Seriously. I would then post a prayer on Facebook, birthed from my reading, tagging and encouraging Donna, Mandy, and their family. God continued to whisper encouragement into my heart and for the family, I believe, all the while, drawing me closer and closer to Him. He has been so faithful.

I finished that reading plan in January, and then I began journalling as a way to help the healing after leaving my longtime church. I would post my thoughts, prayers, and readings on Facebook as an encouragement to Donna, Mandy, and the family, tagging them each day. Journalling certainly has helped my healing, and, somehow, others like you have found some encouragement in them, too. Many have told me that I need to continue to do it daily, and so I do. I began this b
Og as a way to that.

Through writing, God has brought His love, acceptance, and healing into my life. He has shown me a new facet of His grace that I never knew before. He has filled me with a zeal for others to know His healing and wholeness. I am amazed by Him. To be frank, when I finish writing, I sometimes don’t really remember what I write. I have to look back and re-read it to remember. It’s almost as if I didn’t write it. Hmmm.

The point I’m trying to make is that what started as a commitment to pray and then progressed into a promise to not only pray daily, but also to post daily encouragement has served to draw me closer to God like never before. It is the power of accountabiltiy and commitment. It is the power of faithfulness… not mine, but God’s. He is so faithful.

I encourage you to be accountable to someone or to hold someone accountable. We all need it. We have been blessed to be a blessing. And the blessings from our faithful Father are immense.

Come near to God and he will come near to you. (James 4:8a)

Thanks for being my accountability partners on this journey of life and faith.