Saturday, February 6, 2010

Repenting

Casey and I just returned from VERGE2010, a conference for pastors and church planters. There was much to learn, and all the lingo and the strategies were all well and good, but before I begin to process all that...I have to repent.

These are the goals I have given myself in "Jesus' Name":
- I need to work on a being a better mom.
- I need to work on being more disciplined.
- I need to watch less TV.
- I need to stop saying cuss words.
- I need to spend more time in my quiet times.
- I need to stop thinking so much about how I look.
- I need to pray more.
- I need to fast more.
- I need to be less selfish.
- I need to be less self-centered. (What would give me that idea?!)

These are the things that I concern myself with day after day. I have shrunk the Gospel into this list of things I need to work on. And while they are important and should be addressed, they are all about ME and I believe I am committing a greater sin by ignoring the truth that people are living and dying everyday without Jesus. And the irony is...is that if I would only participate in the mission that Christ began for us and calls us to...would God not begin to work on my list anyway? Would I not pray more? Would I not fast more? Would I not live my life with more discipline and intentionality? Would I not begin to think more of others and less of myself? Would God not be in the business of sanctifying me for the sake of His Mission? HE WOULD! And what is better is that it would be HIM transforming me and not just me trying harder.

Oh! I repent! I have surrounded myself with lovely Christian women and lovely Christian families and we do so many lovely Christian things together. But I have neglected the lost. I have neglected the Mission of the Gospel for the mission of discovering my own righteousness. There will always be a million reasons to put off doing the work of the Gospel. But there is one reason...THE REASON...that we lay down our silly excuses, we lay down our time, we lay down our insecurities, we lay down our fears, we lay down our lives...and it is JESUS.

As you probably know, Casey and I are beginning a new chapter of our lives. To be honest, there are moments that I am terrified. But, I am excited too, and what is more important, we are certain of the calling. So, as we find a new home and a new neighborhood, as we enroll in new schools, and go to new story hours, and play at new parks, if you are my friend, or if you feel inclined, will you please pray that we will wake up each morning with Christ's mission heavy on our hearts? That we would see as Jesus sees, and love like Jesus loves. That we would love Christ and His Kingdom more than we love ourselves. I desperately covet your prayers.

The sessions from the conference will be online soon, I think. And if you have time, I highly recommend that you listen to Francis Chan's sessions. He (author of Crazy Love) is so funny and so delightful, but he has so much to say, and I think that if you are feeling that maybe you've been missing the point, like I have, Francis will be a great encouragement to you. I will post the link as soon as they are up.

Thank you my friends, for hearing my confession.

4 comments:

Jenny said...

Thank you Steph for putting your heart out there. You have just condensed the self same convictions that I have had looming near me and yet haven't dealt with. I will dearly cherish praying for you and your family for all the matters you mentioned and ask that you would pray for the same reasons you mentioned for me and my dear family. In Christ, (because in Him we live and move and have our being), Jenny

mandi said...

wow-
this is so true. the more we work on ourselves, the more we think about ourselves. and that's totally missing the point. you are so right, the times that i have been more missionally focused are the times that all my 'wants' for myself are met-more time in prayer, scripture, discipline.
thanks for this post.

and you better believe i'm praying for you guys. i love your family and am privileged to stand alongside you guys in this.

Robin Brient said...

Love you guys and are praying for you!

lara said...

Casey gave me your blog yesterday. I am Julie's sister-in-law. :) And all I can say is, "Preach it, girlfriend!"