God Concepts | Episode 3 | TBN

God Concepts | Episode 3

Watch God Concepts | Episode 3
April 16, 2018
27:31

Alicia Britt Chole: The Sacred Slow

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God Concepts | Episode 3

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  • When you hear the word father,
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  • what picture comes to mind?
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  • Someone loving and present?
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  • Someone absent and abusive?
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  • How has that affected your portrait of Father God?
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  • It's time for us to compare our portrait of God to the original.
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  • Hi, I'm Alicia Britt Chole.
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  • We live in a hurried age where faster has become
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  • a synonym for better
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  • and experience has become a substitute for relationship.
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  • The problem is that faster experiences
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  • don't create better relationships
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  • with people or with God.
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  • For over 30 years I've been providing
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  • intentional mentoring to learners and leaders
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  • around the globe, and we're all facing a similar challenge.
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  • We need to rediscover the sacredness of slow.
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  • I invite you to unhurry your day,
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  • to unclutter your heart,
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  • and to remember the satisfying simplicity of relationship
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  • with a God who never wanted to use,
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  • let alone exhaust you.
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  • He has always wanted to love you.
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  • Welcome to my home.
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  • (Alicia Britt Chole) My parents got married in 1963, and I'm their only child.
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  • My mom is thankfully still with me.
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  • She continues to be my living example of sacrificial love.
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  • And my daddy helped shape my very first God concepts,
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  • not because he taught about God, not at all.
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  • Even as a little girl, Dad would sit near me and ask,
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  • "What's the daughter thinking?"
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  • So I'd tell him everything from what was happening in school
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  • to the mosquito that bit me
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  • to the systemic injustices in the world
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  • to my commentary on the latest Johnny Carson Show.
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  • Dad would listen with rapt attention and then say,
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  • "Those are good thoughts, daughter.
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  • "You're a good thinker, daughter.
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  • The world's got to hear what you've got to say."
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  • Dad and I talked about a lot of things over the years,
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  • but he was never shocked or shut down by any of it.
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  • He received my opinions and my questions
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  • with a calm grace,
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  • so when Jesus interrupted my life
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  • and soon after, someone said, "Oh, and by the way,
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  • God is now your heavenly Father,"
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  • I thought, "How wonderful.
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  • "That means he's a safe place, that he wants to hear my voice,
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  • that nothing I say will ever shock him or shut him down."
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  • Dad was one of the first people to pick up a paintbrush
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  • and make a mark on my portrait of God.
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  • Have you ever seen the sheer joy in the eyes of an artist
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  • as they picked up a blank canvas?
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  • Each one paints from their own perspective.
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  • And each one paints with care, because even though
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  • they're shaping the canvas, the canvas is also shaping them.
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  • Dad didn't know it, but in those endless hours
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  • he was shaping my God concepts.
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  • I'm eternally grateful that he painted so well.
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  • But Dad's not the only one
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  • who has painted on that canvas, is he?
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  • All of us have had a whole lot of people
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  • and circumstances contribute to our portraits of God.
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  • Some painted well, and some painted poorly.
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  • Several friends have listened to my story
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  • with tears in their eyes
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  • because their dads were absent or angry or unpredictable.
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  • And it's been a journey for them to edit their God portrait,
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  • to realign their God concepts with the original,
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  • and to begin to believe that God is near, loving, and safe.
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  • Our focus in this episode of "The Sacred Slow"
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  • is our God concepts.
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  • It's as though we all have a canvas in our soul
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  • that holds our working portrait of God.
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  • Our gut honest thoughts about who God is, what he does,
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  • and what he thinks of us,
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  • and very different people and circumstances
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  • have made their contribution to that canvas.
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  • Some painted well.
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  • Maybe you had a praying grandmother,
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  • a concerned teacher, a true friend,
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  • or an involved pastor.
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  • And others painted poorly, perhaps that Christian co-worker
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  • who remained silent when you were falsely accused.
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  • That leader whose concern for you vanished
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  • when you started volunteering in a different area.
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  • Or that relative who's an elder in their church
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  • and a pain in your neck.
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  • My point is this.
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  • All of our God portraits are in need
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  • of constant attention and correction.
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  • Though God is immutable, he's unchanging;
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  • our concepts of him are not,
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  • which is why we need to continually compare
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  • our canvas to the original.
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  • I invite you to consider with me three hindrances
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  • to developing an accurate portrait of God:
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  • passivity, thorns, and forgetfulness.
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  • Spiritual misthink distorts God's character
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  • to the enemy's advantage and leaves a soul
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  • dangerously vulnerable to deception.
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  • Twentieth century pastor and author A.W. Tozer
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  • concisely emphasized how influential our God concepts are
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  • when he said, "Were we able to extract from any man
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  • "a complete answer to the question,
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  • "'What comes into your mind when you think about God?'
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  • "we might predict with certainty the spiritual future
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  • of that man."
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  • What we think about God shapes us, our futures,
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  • and our legacies.
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  • Yet it seems to me that we spend precious little time monitoring,
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  • let alone evaluating or advancing our God concepts.
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  • We seem to invest far more time developing
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  • other concepts like leadership skills,
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  • financial management, conflict resolution tactics,
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  • current trends, vision casting, and ceiling blasting.
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  • All of which is good stuff, but why do we spend
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  • comparatively little energy attending to our God concepts?
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  • Could it be that we thought that God concepts were God's job?
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  • Or that they were automatically downloaded as part
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  • of the salvation package?
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  • No updates needed.
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  • Or maybe we were told that God concepts
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  • just grew on their own as we sat in church
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  • or held a Bible.
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  • Perhaps we checked God concepts off of our lists after that
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  • "So you're a new Christian? Welcome" workshop.
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  • Or maybe we've just never thought about it.
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  • Well, we desperately need to.
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  • The kingdom of darkness constantly bombards us
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  • with impure and untrue messages
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  • about life, faith, spirituality, and God.
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  • But God hasn't left us helpless.
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  • He's given us a sword for the fight.
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  • In Mark 4 Jesus shared with the crowds the parable of the sower.
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  • He described four seeds: one that fell on the path,
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  • one that fell in shallow soil, one that fell among thorns,
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  • and one that fell on good soil.
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  • What distinguished the fourth seed
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  • from all the rest was its utter rejection of passivity.
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  • Listen to the language Jesus used to describe what happened
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  • to the first three seeds in Mark 4:15 through 19.
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  • The first had the word "taken away."
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  • The second seed "fell away."
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  • The third seed "was made unfruitful,"
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  • but there's nothing passive in the language
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  • that described the fourth seed.
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  • In Mark 4:20 we read: "Jesus said others,
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  • "like the seed sown on good soil, hear the word,
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  • "accept it, and produce a crop--
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  • 30, 60, or even 100 times what was sown."
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  • The word "accept"
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  • is translated from the Greek paradechomai,
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  • which means to receive, to embrace with assent
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  • and obedience.
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  • And what did that fourth seed receive, embrace,
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  • and assent to with obedience?
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  • The Word.
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  • Though the Word undeniably holds power,
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  • accurate God concepts aren't formed by just holding the Bible
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  • or even hearing a great message.
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  • The Word must be heard and heeded,
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  • received, embraced, assented to, and obeyed.
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  • As the Psalmist said in Psalm 119:11,
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  • "Your Word have I hid," not just heard,
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  • "in my heart that I might not sin against you."
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  • Oh, what a difference actively attending to your God concept
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  • can and will make.
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  • As A.W. Tozer said, "The man who comes
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  • "to a right belief about God is relieved
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  • "of 10.000 temporal problems, for he sees at once
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  • "that these have to do with matters which at the most
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  • cannot concern him for very long."
  • 00:09:05.040 --> 00:09:09.040
  • 00:09:09.050 --> 00:09:19.040
  • 00:09:19.050 --> 00:09:23.240
  • (male announcer) We want to go, grow, and know faster than ever before,
  • 00:09:23.250 --> 00:09:27.210
  • but faith and relationships take time.
  • 00:09:27.220 --> 00:09:29.280
  • That's why, in appreciation for your gift of $40 or more,
  • 00:09:29.290 --> 00:09:33.020
  • we want to send you your own copy of "The Sacred Slow,"
  • 00:09:33.030 --> 00:09:36.180
  • allowing you to walk alongside Alicia
  • 00:09:36.190 --> 00:09:38.180
  • on this journey of intentional growth.
  • 00:09:38.190 --> 00:09:40.280
  • And to help your journey even further,
  • 00:09:40.290 --> 00:09:42.250
  • we will also send you her enlightening book,
  • 00:09:42.260 --> 00:09:44.280
  • "Forty Days of Decrease."
  • 00:09:44.290 --> 00:09:46.250
  • Together, these books will help you deepen
  • 00:09:46.260 --> 00:09:48.170
  • and strengthen your relationship with your creator.
  • 00:09:48.180 --> 00:09:51.030
  • Call or go online today.
  • 00:09:51.040 --> 00:09:54.140
  • 00:09:54.190 --> 00:10:01.270
  • (Alicia) A second hindrance to developing
  • 00:10:01.280 --> 00:10:03.220
  • an accurate portrait of God is thorns,
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  • or more specifically, what we do with them.
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  • We have a tendency to water thorns,
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  • to nurture them.
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  • And you may have just thought,
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  • "Speak for yourself.
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  • I'm not foolish enough to water thorns."
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  • Well, evidently, I am.
  • 00:10:19.060 --> 00:10:21.050
  • We first moved to Missouri over 20 years ago.
  • 00:10:21.060 --> 00:10:24.110
  • This little house on these few acres was pretty run down,
  • 00:10:24.120 --> 00:10:28.100
  • but what we fell in love with were the trees,
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  • some of which were 50 to over 100 years old.
  • 00:10:31.200 --> 00:10:35.040
  • My husband Barry and I would take walks around
  • 00:10:35.050 --> 00:10:38.060
  • through the grass and the woods
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  • and one day we came upon a clump
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  • of shorter, clearly younger trees,
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  • and I said, "Well, those are pretty."
  • 00:10:44.280 --> 00:10:47.010
  • "Yeah," Barry said, "but look at those thorns."
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  • At the time, neither of us knew what kind of tree
  • 00:10:50.270 --> 00:10:53.170
  • we were looking at.
  • 00:10:53.180 --> 00:10:54.270
  • So I asked Bear if we could just let them be,
  • 00:10:54.280 --> 00:10:57.050
  • just leave them alone.
  • 00:10:57.060 --> 00:10:59.160
  • He nodded his head cautiously and warned,
  • 00:10:59.170 --> 00:11:02.050
  • "Okay, but we need to keep an eye on this."
  • 00:11:02.060 --> 00:11:05.180
  • A few years later an arborist came to visit
  • 00:11:05.190 --> 00:11:08.120
  • our sick 125-year-old oak tree,
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  • and while he was walking through the property
  • 00:11:11.190 --> 00:11:13.280
  • he pointed toward the clump of thorn trees and said,
  • 00:11:13.290 --> 00:11:16.260
  • "You've got small children.
  • 00:11:16.270 --> 00:11:18.230
  • I'd get rid of those if I were you."
  • 00:11:18.240 --> 00:11:21.030
  • We found out that the thorn trees under discussion
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  • were called honey locusts.
  • 00:11:23.260 --> 00:11:26.170
  • One frustrated farmer called the honey locust
  • 00:11:26.180 --> 00:11:29.080
  • the devil tree that makes a cactus look cuddly.
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  • Their fall foliage is beautiful,
  • 00:11:33.020 --> 00:11:35.270
  • and their pods evidently contain a sweet pulp.
  • 00:11:35.280 --> 00:11:39.090
  • But honey locusts are aggressively invasive.
  • 00:11:39.100 --> 00:11:43.080
  • They spread rapidly and are highly resilient to eradication.
  • 00:11:43.090 --> 00:11:47.290
  • In my research, I came across claims of their thorns
  • 00:11:48.000 --> 00:11:51.110
  • growing from 2 to 12 inches long,
  • 00:11:51.120 --> 00:11:54.240
  • and they can cause painful, severe, infected wounds
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  • in anyone unfortunate enough to come in contact with them.
  • 00:11:58.210 --> 00:12:02.260
  • In fact, this year, we hired a bulldozer to come
  • 00:12:02.270 --> 00:12:05.290
  • and pull them up by their roots.
  • 00:12:06.000 --> 00:12:08.200
  • But it's still sobering to realize that I contributed
  • 00:12:08.210 --> 00:12:12.060
  • to the infestation.
  • 00:12:12.070 --> 00:12:14.130
  • I nurtured the thorn trees by omission.
  • 00:12:14.140 --> 00:12:18.290
  • When I first saw them, I decided to do nothing,
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  • and doing nothing is a choice.
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  • Watering thorns, who would do such a thing?
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  • Maybe we all do.
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  • When we allow untruth to go unchecked,
  • 00:12:32.160 --> 00:12:36.000
  • our choice to do nothing waters thorns.
  • 00:12:36.010 --> 00:12:40.270
  • When we give ourselves permission
  • 00:12:40.280 --> 00:12:42.280
  • to emotionally invest in lies, our willful alliance
  • 00:12:42.290 --> 00:12:47.250
  • with deception mars our God concepts.
  • 00:12:47.260 --> 00:12:52.200
  • Brother Lawrence, a 17th century lay brother
  • 00:12:52.210 --> 00:12:55.220
  • known for his intimacy with God, wrote:
  • 00:12:55.230 --> 00:12:58.130
  • "The foundation of spiritual life,
  • 00:12:58.140 --> 00:13:00.260
  • "for me, has been a high image of God
  • 00:13:00.270 --> 00:13:03.290
  • and a high esteem of God."
  • 00:13:04.000 --> 00:13:07.040
  • What we choose to think matters a lot.
  • 00:13:07.050 --> 00:13:11.280
  • A third hindrance to the development
  • 00:13:11.290 --> 00:13:14.020
  • of an accurate portrait of God is forgetfulness.
  • 00:13:14.030 --> 00:13:17.250
  • In short, we forget that God is always in the room.
  • 00:13:17.260 --> 00:13:23.030
  • A long time ago, I was sitting beside a young woman
  • 00:13:23.040 --> 00:13:26.050
  • and had the honor of hearing
  • 00:13:26.060 --> 00:13:27.280
  • a difficult chapter of her story.
  • 00:13:27.290 --> 00:13:30.090
  • As she cried softly, I asked one question: "Where's God?"
  • 00:13:30.100 --> 00:13:35.200
  • She looked at me with a puzzled expression.
  • 00:13:35.210 --> 00:13:37.200
  • She said, "Excuse me?"
  • 00:13:37.210 --> 00:13:39.130
  • "Where's God?" I repeated. "Where's God in the picture?
  • 00:13:39.140 --> 00:13:43.230
  • "You've described the context, the conflict, yourself,
  • 00:13:43.240 --> 00:13:47.080
  • "and the other person.
  • 00:13:47.090 --> 00:13:48.270
  • "I have a motion picture in my mind that's rolling
  • 00:13:48.280 --> 00:13:51.150
  • "from a very clear depiction.
  • 00:13:51.160 --> 00:13:53.250
  • "I'm wondering, though, about the placement
  • 00:13:53.260 --> 00:13:56.010
  • "of one more character in the story: God.
  • 00:13:56.020 --> 00:14:00.050
  • And her eyes got wide and then she gasped.
  • 00:14:00.060 --> 00:14:04.150
  • "Nowhere," she said. "He's not even in the room."
  • 00:14:04.160 --> 00:14:09.090
  • Her official God concept, the one she talked about
  • 00:14:09.100 --> 00:14:12.060
  • that hung on the wall, said present.
  • 00:14:12.070 --> 00:14:15.050
  • Her working God concept, the one that shaped her memories
  • 00:14:15.060 --> 00:14:19.110
  • and her soul said absent.
  • 00:14:19.120 --> 00:14:22.160
  • God wasn't even in the room.
  • 00:14:22.170 --> 00:14:25.090
  • And when she saw him in the room, it changed everything.
  • 00:14:25.100 --> 00:14:31.280
  • All of us have archives of memories, don't we?
  • 00:14:31.290 --> 00:14:36.040
  • When you remember the loss of that loved one,
  • 00:14:36.050 --> 00:14:39.040
  • do you see God weeping with you as Jesus did at Lazarus's tomb?
  • 00:14:39.050 --> 00:14:45.010
  • When you recall that painful misunderstanding,
  • 00:14:45.020 --> 00:14:48.050
  • do you see God standing by you
  • 00:14:48.060 --> 00:14:50.210
  • with his strong arm around your shoulders?
  • 00:14:50.220 --> 00:14:54.260
  • Do you see him in the room of your hurts and worries
  • 00:14:54.270 --> 00:14:59.020
  • as well as your victories and joys?
  • 00:14:59.030 --> 00:15:02.080
  • God is in the room.
  • 00:15:02.090 --> 00:15:06.210
  • As Jesus said in Matthew 28:20:
  • 00:15:06.220 --> 00:15:09.160
  • "I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
  • 00:15:09.170 --> 00:15:16.030
  • And as the writer of Hebrews affirmed in Hebrews 13:5:
  • 00:15:16.040 --> 00:15:20.130
  • "God has said, 'Never will I leave you;
  • 00:15:20.140 --> 00:15:24.240
  • never will I forsake you.'"
  • 00:15:24.250 --> 00:15:27.220
  • God doesn't leave. God doesn't forsake.
  • 00:15:27.230 --> 00:15:34.050
  • In every season, in every moment,
  • 00:15:34.060 --> 00:15:37.210
  • God is in the room.
  • 00:15:37.220 --> 00:15:40.110
  • God in the room means that whatever the story
  • 00:15:40.120 --> 00:15:43.270
  • and wherever the wounds,
  • 00:15:43.280 --> 00:15:45.250
  • you were and still are never alone.
  • 00:15:45.260 --> 00:15:51.000
  • God in the room means that each of your thoughts has been heard.
  • 00:15:51.010 --> 00:15:55.170
  • Every one of your tears has been counted.
  • 00:15:55.180 --> 00:15:58.210
  • All of your joys have been shared
  • 00:15:58.220 --> 00:16:01.270
  • and none of your questions have ever been unwanted.
  • 00:16:01.280 --> 00:16:06.000
  • God in the room opens the door for your life maker
  • 00:16:06.010 --> 00:16:11.000
  • to become your life mentor.
  • 00:16:11.010 --> 00:16:14.120
  • As the prophet Isaiah said about God in Isaiah 26:3 through 4:
  • 00:16:14.130 --> 00:16:18.200
  • "You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast,
  • 00:16:18.210 --> 00:16:23.210
  • "because they trust in you.
  • 00:16:23.220 --> 00:16:25.170
  • "Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself,
  • 00:16:25.180 --> 00:16:30.010
  • is the Rock eternal."
  • 00:16:30.020 --> 00:16:32.210
  • And my hope in "The Sacred Slow"
  • 00:16:32.220 --> 00:16:35.090
  • is that as we attend more carefully to our God concepts,
  • 00:16:35.100 --> 00:16:40.120
  • our lives will reflect something more accurate about him
  • 00:16:40.130 --> 00:16:44.150
  • and his love to the watching world.
  • 00:16:44.160 --> 00:16:49.200
  • 00:16:49.210 --> 00:16:59.200
  • 00:16:59.210 --> 00:17:05.160
  • In the back of "The Sacred Slow"
  • 00:17:05.170 --> 00:17:07.010
  • I created a toolbox for you
  • 00:17:07.020 --> 00:17:09.180
  • to help you experience this, if you'd like, in a group.
  • 00:17:09.190 --> 00:17:12.140
  • So many different helps there.
  • 00:17:12.150 --> 00:17:14.110
  • One of the main features, though,
  • 00:17:14.120 --> 00:17:15.260
  • is the 12-week facilitator guide.
  • 00:17:15.270 --> 00:17:17.240
  • It'll have more discussion questions
  • 00:17:17.250 --> 00:17:19.200
  • than you could ever ask for.
  • 00:17:19.210 --> 00:17:21.150
  • It has some Scripture verses
  • 00:17:21.160 --> 00:17:23.020
  • if you'd like to add to your experience.
  • 00:17:23.030 --> 00:17:25.020
  • It also has hints for anybody leading the group.
  • 00:17:25.030 --> 00:17:28.030
  • And another thing that it offers are suggested resources
  • 00:17:28.040 --> 00:17:32.010
  • that'll complement that movement's theme.
  • 00:17:32.020 --> 00:17:34.250
  • And a suggested resource that I recommend for this movement
  • 00:17:34.260 --> 00:17:37.060
  • is A.W. Tozer's "Knowledge of the Holy."
  • 00:17:37.070 --> 00:17:40.040
  • Somebody put that book in my hand
  • 00:17:40.050 --> 00:17:42.010
  • as a very new follower of Jesus Christ,
  • 00:17:42.020 --> 00:17:44.160
  • and Tozer painted well on my God portrait canvas.
  • 00:17:44.170 --> 00:17:48.160
  • He took deeply theological issues
  • 00:17:48.170 --> 00:17:50.200
  • and really made them come to life.
  • 00:17:50.210 --> 00:17:52.270
  • Another group that painted well on my God portrait
  • 00:17:52.280 --> 00:17:55.210
  • were my mentors.
  • 00:17:55.220 --> 00:17:57.220
  • They immediately led me in studies through the Scripture,
  • 00:17:57.230 --> 00:18:00.200
  • the nature of Jesus, the nature of the Holy Spirit,
  • 00:18:00.210 --> 00:18:03.190
  • the nature of the Father.
  • 00:18:03.200 --> 00:18:05.220
  • I want you to think about your portraits,
  • 00:18:05.230 --> 00:18:08.060
  • your God portraits, and those experiences,
  • 00:18:08.070 --> 00:18:10.280
  • people, places, that painted well.
  • 00:18:10.290 --> 00:18:13.290
  • What comes to your mind?
  • 00:18:14.000 --> 00:18:15.180
  • (Aaron) For me, it was my dad, and he was just a great picture
  • 00:18:15.190 --> 00:18:18.280
  • of what my heavenly Father is like.
  • 00:18:18.290 --> 00:18:21.020
  • Just the encouragement, how he challenged me
  • 00:18:21.030 --> 00:18:23.000
  • to continue to grow and become a better version of myself.
  • 00:18:23.010 --> 00:18:25.280
  • Also as a young adult
  • 00:18:25.290 --> 00:18:27.140
  • I read a book called "To Own a Dragon,"
  • 00:18:27.150 --> 00:18:29.110
  • and it talked about no matter how great
  • 00:18:29.120 --> 00:18:31.000
  • or how flawed our earthly father is
  • 00:18:31.010 --> 00:18:32.260
  • that we're continuing to improve that reflection,
  • 00:18:32.270 --> 00:18:35.160
  • to understand more about who our heavenly Father is.
  • 00:18:35.170 --> 00:18:38.070
  • (Alicia) Beautiful.
  • 00:18:38.080 --> 00:18:39.170
  • Our parents are so influential, aren't they?
  • 00:18:39.180 --> 00:18:41.290
  • In our God portraits.
  • 00:18:42.000 --> 00:18:43.090
  • And I'd already mentioned my dad's place.
  • 00:18:43.100 --> 00:18:45.040
  • My dad treated questions as though they were doors:
  • 00:18:45.050 --> 00:18:48.060
  • doors to deeper, doors to stronger relationship.
  • 00:18:48.070 --> 00:18:51.180
  • But that's not always culturally the case.
  • 00:18:51.190 --> 00:18:53.240
  • So think about growing up, culturally, were questions
  • 00:18:53.250 --> 00:18:58.010
  • about God, his character, his existence,
  • 00:18:58.020 --> 00:19:00.100
  • were they welcomed, were they hushed?
  • 00:19:00.110 --> 00:19:03.100
  • What was it like for you growing up culturally?
  • 00:19:03.110 --> 00:19:05.120
  • (Sara) You know, it's interesting.
  • 00:19:05.130 --> 00:19:06.230
  • I grew up in church as well, but I think the culture
  • 00:19:06.240 --> 00:19:09.170
  • I grew up in was a little different.
  • 00:19:09.180 --> 00:19:11.180
  • Questions felt threatening,
  • 00:19:11.190 --> 00:19:14.160
  • and so when I did wanna wrestle with topics,
  • 00:19:14.170 --> 00:19:17.040
  • I didn't feel like I had an open audience
  • 00:19:17.050 --> 00:19:19.270
  • to really bring those questions to.
  • 00:19:19.280 --> 00:19:22.200
  • It almost felt like,
  • 00:19:22.210 --> 00:19:24.110
  • "I don't think you should be asking that."
  • 00:19:24.120 --> 00:19:26.020
  • And so I think it really took me a long time
  • 00:19:26.030 --> 00:19:28.120
  • to find some safe places where I could wrestle with my faith
  • 00:19:28.130 --> 00:19:31.210
  • and discover those things about God.
  • 00:19:31.220 --> 00:19:34.110
  • (Alicia) Yes, yes, Angela?
  • 00:19:34.120 --> 00:19:36.160
  • I became an exchange student was my first experience
  • 00:19:36.170 --> 00:19:39.050
  • really being away from my family,
  • 00:19:39.060 --> 00:19:41.050
  • away from the church family that I'd grown up in,
  • 00:19:41.060 --> 00:19:44.110
  • and it made me start to question for the first time really.
  • 00:19:44.120 --> 00:19:48.030
  • And when I came home from that experience,
  • 00:19:48.040 --> 00:19:50.100
  • I was sharing with my mom, "I have doubts.
  • 00:19:50.110 --> 00:19:52.070
  • "I don't know. Is there a God?
  • 00:19:52.080 --> 00:19:53.220
  • "Is he who he says he is?
  • 00:19:53.230 --> 00:19:55.090
  • And does he love me if he's there?"
  • 00:19:55.100 --> 00:19:58.050
  • Instead of being threatened or being scared,
  • 00:19:58.060 --> 00:20:01.190
  • my mom was excited, and she said,
  • 00:20:01.200 --> 00:20:04.200
  • "Angela, this is the beginning.
  • 00:20:04.210 --> 00:20:06.050
  • "Now is when you're going to learn who God is to you.
  • 00:20:06.060 --> 00:20:09.240
  • "Because without those questions your faith will always just be
  • 00:20:09.250 --> 00:20:13.200
  • a shallow thing that doesn't really belong to you."
  • 00:20:13.210 --> 00:20:16.040
  • (Alicia) I agree.
  • 00:20:16.050 --> 00:20:17.140
  • And I think the challenge that we have is making sure
  • 00:20:17.150 --> 00:20:19.040
  • we direct our questions Godward.
  • 00:20:19.050 --> 00:20:21.100
  • The problem isn't that we have questions;
  • 00:20:21.110 --> 00:20:23.200
  • the challenge is that we need to direct them Godward.
  • 00:20:23.210 --> 00:20:26.110
  • We need to hold the conversation about him with him.
  • 00:20:26.120 --> 00:20:30.070
  • Let's think about another part of the teaching.
  • 00:20:30.080 --> 00:20:32.150
  • Do you remember the story I told about the woman
  • 00:20:32.160 --> 00:20:34.280
  • who hadn't seen that God was in the room
  • 00:20:34.290 --> 00:20:37.040
  • of her memory?
  • 00:20:37.050 --> 00:20:38.250
  • So I want you to recall that story
  • 00:20:38.260 --> 00:20:40.190
  • and how she thought,
  • 00:20:40.200 --> 00:20:41.290
  • "Oh my goodness, he's not even in the room.
  • 00:20:42.000 --> 00:20:43.230
  • I hadn't even seen him in the picture."
  • 00:20:43.240 --> 00:20:45.240
  • What kind of reactions did you have to that story?
  • 00:20:45.250 --> 00:20:48.140
  • Was it familiar, unfamiliar?
  • 00:20:48.150 --> 00:20:50.070
  • What were you thinking?
  • 00:20:50.080 --> 00:20:52.140
  • I mean, initially, I think for me,
  • 00:20:52.150 --> 00:20:54.070
  • it was definitely familiar,
  • 00:20:54.080 --> 00:20:56.180
  • because in my initial walk with Christ
  • 00:20:56.190 --> 00:21:01.060
  • I never really understood that relationship, you know,
  • 00:21:01.070 --> 00:21:04.210
  • that he's always there.
  • 00:21:04.220 --> 00:21:06.130
  • You know, I think we tend to have this concept
  • 00:21:06.140 --> 00:21:09.200
  • of we go to God when we have a big need
  • 00:21:09.210 --> 00:21:11.170
  • or we need something or if something's happening
  • 00:21:11.180 --> 00:21:13.240
  • and we have to talk to God, not that he's always with us.
  • 00:21:13.250 --> 00:21:17.080
  • And over the years I've definitely learnt
  • 00:21:17.090 --> 00:21:19.130
  • that that's not the case.
  • 00:21:19.140 --> 00:21:21.100
  • When you have a good relationship with someone,
  • 00:21:21.110 --> 00:21:23.070
  • it's not intermittent.
  • 00:21:23.080 --> 00:21:25.000
  • It's a constant connection.
  • 00:21:25.010 --> 00:21:26.190
  • You're always there.
  • 00:21:26.200 --> 00:21:27.290
  • You're communicating, and you have that relationship,
  • 00:21:28.000 --> 00:21:30.080
  • and I think it's just so much more of a relief
  • 00:21:30.090 --> 00:21:32.130
  • knowing that I don't have to deal with this by myself.
  • 00:21:32.140 --> 00:21:34.180
  • He is there with me.
  • 00:21:34.190 --> 00:21:35.280
  • (Alicia) Yes, yes, beautiful.
  • 00:21:35.290 --> 00:21:37.120
  • Anyone else?
  • 00:21:37.130 --> 00:21:38.240
  • (Angela) In doing the different layers of the life scroll
  • 00:21:38.250 --> 00:21:40.270
  • then looking at it as a whole,
  • 00:21:40.280 --> 00:21:43.080
  • really helped me to not only visualize
  • 00:21:43.090 --> 00:21:47.010
  • and understand how God was working things for my good
  • 00:21:47.020 --> 00:21:50.000
  • even then, but to carry that into now,
  • 00:21:50.010 --> 00:21:52.150
  • and now I'm more able to see he is making something beautiful.
  • 00:21:52.160 --> 00:21:55.230
  • (Alicia) Yes.
  • 00:21:55.240 --> 00:21:57.110
  • (Ravi) Yeah, I'd have to completely agree again.
  • 00:21:57.120 --> 00:21:58.250
  • That was one of the things that I learned from the life scroll
  • 00:21:58.260 --> 00:22:00.280
  • was how God is involved in the details.
  • 00:22:00.290 --> 00:22:03.080
  • And I think when we can see that,
  • 00:22:03.090 --> 00:22:05.160
  • then we recognize that he's always with us,
  • 00:22:05.170 --> 00:22:07.120
  • 'cause it's not just the big moments
  • 00:22:07.130 --> 00:22:09.090
  • or the issues that we're dealing with,
  • 00:22:09.100 --> 00:22:12.070
  • it's the little details that we go through each and every day.
  • 00:22:12.080 --> 00:22:15.150
  • And so, yeah, the life scroll was definitely very helpful
  • 00:22:15.160 --> 00:22:17.180
  • for me to learn that too.
  • 00:22:17.190 --> 00:22:19.020
  • (Alicia) All right, family.
  • 00:22:19.030 --> 00:22:20.200
  • Well, one more thing I'd like us to talk about.
  • 00:22:20.210 --> 00:22:22.050
  • What kind of practical tools do you implement
  • 00:22:22.060 --> 00:22:24.250
  • to help you remember that God's in the room?
  • 00:22:24.260 --> 00:22:27.040
  • It may be a Scripture, it may be some kind
  • 00:22:27.050 --> 00:22:29.190
  • of mnemonic device.
  • 00:22:29.200 --> 00:22:31.090
  • What do you do to help you remember
  • 00:22:31.100 --> 00:22:32.260
  • that you are not living this as a solo,
  • 00:22:32.270 --> 00:22:34.280
  • you are living this as a duet?
  • 00:22:34.290 --> 00:22:37.070
  • I think for me, earlier on in my faith walk
  • 00:22:37.080 --> 00:22:40.100
  • it was Romans 8:31, when it talks about,
  • 00:22:40.110 --> 00:22:42.160
  • you know, "If God is for you, who can be against you."
  • 00:22:42.170 --> 00:22:45.020
  • And it gave me a lot of strength.
  • 00:22:45.030 --> 00:22:47.000
  • And I think it just reminded me that, yeah, God is with me,
  • 00:22:47.010 --> 00:22:50.150
  • and if he's with me, I mean, who can stand against,
  • 00:22:50.160 --> 00:22:53.100
  • you know, the God of this universe?
  • 00:22:53.110 --> 00:22:55.070
  • And so it just gave me so much, I think, strength
  • 00:22:55.080 --> 00:22:58.130
  • and faith to just keep on moving,
  • 00:22:58.140 --> 00:23:00.070
  • knowing that I didn't have to do this by myself.
  • 00:23:00.080 --> 00:23:02.160
  • So that was definitely one of the things so Scripture really,
  • 00:23:02.170 --> 00:23:04.250
  • I think, helps me a lot.
  • 00:23:04.260 --> 00:23:06.080
  • (Alicia) Yes, yes. Anyone else?
  • 00:23:06.090 --> 00:23:07.290
  • I verbalize it.
  • 00:23:08.000 --> 00:23:09.090
  • If I'm in the car by myself,
  • 00:23:09.100 --> 00:23:11.010
  • I act like he's in the seat next to me,
  • 00:23:11.020 --> 00:23:13.000
  • and we have a conversation.
  • 00:23:13.010 --> 00:23:14.250
  • So a lot of times it's just speaking that out
  • 00:23:14.260 --> 00:23:18.070
  • and acknowledging it to myself that I recognize
  • 00:23:18.080 --> 00:23:21.010
  • we're in this together.
  • 00:23:21.020 --> 00:23:22.200
  • (Keona) I personally think daily prayers, like,
  • 00:23:22.210 --> 00:23:26.030
  • even if it's just, like, at night.
  • 00:23:26.040 --> 00:23:27.280
  • Just kind of like, going through the day
  • 00:23:27.290 --> 00:23:29.200
  • and remembering he was there during this time.
  • 00:23:29.210 --> 00:23:31.200
  • Oh, that's where he was, like, there,
  • 00:23:31.210 --> 00:23:33.130
  • and just kind of remembering that even if I don't remember
  • 00:23:33.140 --> 00:23:37.120
  • to do it during the day,
  • 00:23:37.130 --> 00:23:39.010
  • just kind of every night just think about it
  • 00:23:39.020 --> 00:23:41.160
  • and make sure that we-- I remember.
  • 00:23:41.170 --> 00:23:43.100
  • (Alicia) Oh, that's a beautiful practice, so reviewing the day
  • 00:23:43.110 --> 00:23:45.190
  • and remembering him in each place.
  • 00:23:45.200 --> 00:23:47.180
  • That's beautiful.
  • 00:23:47.190 --> 00:23:49.010
  • Aaron, were you gonna say something?
  • 00:23:49.020 --> 00:23:50.140
  • Yeah, I'm addicted to my phone, honestly, but emails,
  • 00:23:50.150 --> 00:23:54.230
  • social media, phone games, and one practice
  • 00:23:54.240 --> 00:23:58.030
  • that I've tried to have is before I shut down my phone
  • 00:23:58.040 --> 00:24:01.070
  • I've taken a picture of a Scripture of the day
  • 00:24:01.080 --> 00:24:03.230
  • or some verse of the day and so when I reopen it
  • 00:24:03.240 --> 00:24:07.020
  • in the next few moments that's the first thing
  • 00:24:07.030 --> 00:24:09.050
  • that's staring me in the face, is the Word of God.
  • 00:24:09.060 --> 00:24:11.260
  • And so before I open that next social media app
  • 00:24:11.270 --> 00:24:14.050
  • or my email or my calendar, whatever I have to do,
  • 00:24:14.060 --> 00:24:17.020
  • I'm looking at God's Word reminding,
  • 00:24:17.030 --> 00:24:19.050
  • "You're present with me here in this moment."
  • 00:24:19.060 --> 00:24:21.050
  • (Alicia) Yes, yes.
  • 00:24:21.060 --> 00:24:23.070
  • He is present, he is with us, he is good, he is loving,
  • 00:24:23.080 --> 00:24:27.220
  • he is just.
  • 00:24:27.230 --> 00:24:29.170
  • He is merciful.
  • 00:24:29.180 --> 00:24:31.040
  • He is everything we would ever need.
  • 00:24:31.050 --> 00:24:32.220
  • And what we choose to think about him matters a lot.
  • 00:24:32.230 --> 00:24:37.140
  • Let's pray.
  • 00:24:37.150 --> 00:24:40.200
  • God, we know that you are more than we could possibly imagine.
  • 00:24:40.210 --> 00:24:45.000
  • We could spend our entire lifetimes
  • 00:24:45.010 --> 00:24:46.190
  • and we're just going to be touching
  • 00:24:46.200 --> 00:24:48.100
  • the tip of the iceberg of all that you are.
  • 00:24:48.110 --> 00:24:50.270
  • But, God, help us to be true to what we know.
  • 00:24:50.280 --> 00:24:54.050
  • Help us to apply what we know in every moment of every day.
  • 00:24:54.060 --> 00:24:59.130
  • Help us to think of you well in times of joy
  • 00:24:59.140 --> 00:25:03.270
  • and in times of pain, in Jesus's name, amen.
  • 00:25:03.280 --> 00:25:09.220
  • 00:25:09.230 --> 00:25:13.040
  • (Alicia) This book is the fruit of over 30 years of providing
  • 00:25:13.050 --> 00:25:16.150
  • personal mentoring to leaders and learners around the globe.
  • 00:25:16.160 --> 00:25:20.160
  • "The Sacred Slow" contains 12 weeks
  • 00:25:20.170 --> 00:25:23.120
  • of faith-strengthening soul work designed to guide you
  • 00:25:23.130 --> 00:25:27.190
  • into an uncluttered and fiercely honest love for Jesus.
  • 00:25:27.200 --> 00:25:32.170
  • A satisfying and sustainable relationship with God
  • 00:25:32.180 --> 00:25:36.000
  • is attainable, it's just not accidental.
  • 00:25:36.010 --> 00:25:39.200
  • I invite you even beyond the 30 minutes
  • 00:25:39.210 --> 00:25:42.090
  • we've just spent together to take another step
  • 00:25:42.100 --> 00:25:44.290
  • in adding intentionality to your faith walk.
  • 00:25:45.000 --> 00:25:48.170
  • If you have a longing to keep growing,
  • 00:25:48.180 --> 00:25:51.170
  • I'd love to send you a copy for your support
  • 00:25:51.180 --> 00:25:54.090
  • of the many ministries of TBN.
  • 00:25:54.100 --> 00:25:56.180
  • (Alicia) This is what the Sacred Slow is all about,
  • 00:25:58.160 --> 00:26:01.180
  • cultivating a living, growing, fiercely honest love for God.
  • 00:26:01.190 --> 00:26:07.100
  • Intimacy with God isn't reserved
  • 00:26:07.110 --> 00:26:09.080
  • for certain personalities and positions.
  • 00:26:09.090 --> 00:26:12.020
  • This way is open to all.
  • 00:26:12.030 --> 00:26:14.110
  • So this week, may your roots grow deeply into God's Word
  • 00:26:14.120 --> 00:26:18.220
  • and may your faith be encouraged as you remember in every moment
  • 00:26:18.230 --> 00:26:23.010
  • that God is already and always with you.
  • 00:26:23.020 --> 00:26:26.180
  • May you live well in the Sacred Slow.
  • 00:26:26.190 --> 00:26:29.210
  • I'll see you next time.
  • 00:26:29.220 --> 00:26:31.150
  • (announcer) We all long for a deeper relationship with God
  • 00:26:31.160 --> 00:26:34.080
  • and with those around us, but too often,
  • 00:26:34.090 --> 00:26:36.240
  • we just don't know how to get there.
  • 00:26:36.250 --> 00:26:39.020
  • In Dr. Alicia Britt Chole's book, "The Sacred Slow,"
  • 00:26:39.030 --> 00:26:43.090
  • you'll discover how to quiet the noise, slow down,
  • 00:26:43.100 --> 00:26:47.030
  • and experience an authentic relationship
  • 00:26:47.040 --> 00:26:49.220
  • with your creator.
  • 00:26:49.230 --> 00:26:51.070
  • Through the step-by-step mentoring found on the pages
  • 00:26:51.080 --> 00:26:53.210
  • of this book, you'll go on a journey
  • 00:26:53.220 --> 00:26:56.050
  • of intentional spiritual growth and encounter a God
  • 00:26:56.060 --> 00:27:00.050
  • who simply wants to love you.
  • 00:27:00.060 --> 00:27:02.090
  • So to thank you for your gift of $40 or more
  • 00:27:02.100 --> 00:27:05.180
  • in support of the world-wide outreaches of TBN,
  • 00:27:05.190 --> 00:27:08.290
  • we'll send you your very own copy of "Sacred Slow"
  • 00:27:09.000 --> 00:27:12.250
  • along with another favorite from her inspiring collection,
  • 00:27:12.260 --> 00:27:15.220
  • "Forty Days of Decrease."
  • 00:27:15.230 --> 00:27:17.290
  • Get both of these books to read and share with others.
  • 00:27:18.000 --> 00:27:22.010
  • Discover "The Sacred Slow."
  • 00:27:22.020 --> 00:27:24.220
  • Go online or call today.
  • 00:27:24.230 --> 00:27:27.030