May 13 2012
Pride, Pain, and the Price of Gas

This story is simple. It's about me, being an idiot.

I did the following:

1) Bought a new car. First time ever. Still not sure it was a good idea, but we did it. Gets 50 mpg, because it's a diesel, which is interesting because

2) I filled it with regular gas, and that's interesting, becuase

3) That kinda destroys all the fuel lines and stuff, and that means

4) That'll be $7,000, which I don't have, so

5) I rode my bike, carrying extra stuff to work while going uphill and

6) Managed to injure my back, rendering me bedridden for several days, and in excruciating pain, and 

7) I'm an idiot.

And so we come full circle.

-----

I felt dumb. And guilty. And stupid. And like a failure. And some other stuff. 

As I rode my bike in difficult weather, I thought, "I deserve this." As I lay on the couch, in pain from my bike injury, I thought, "This is what I get for what I did. I'm paying the price for my screwing this up."  I was doing penance, and I deserved it.

...and then Volkswagen called, with the total cost, including towing, tax, everything:  $0.

Nothing. The service guy said the parent company was paying for it. It wasn't a warranty thing. We couldn't make them do it. They just did it, in hopes of winning long-term customers, I guess.

ZERO DOLLARS.

I was happy about this, but here's where it gets weird:  Something in me wasn't elated. There was a part of me - there's STILL a part of me - that wanted me to pay a price for it.  Yes, on one level, this makes no sense. Maybe you've never felt that way. Simultaneously thankful, and... strangely helpless.

I blew it, my wife knew it, and she didn't begrudge it. I blew it, and the repair guys didn't make me feel stupid.  I blew it, and did something harmful, and didn't pay a dime. What I got, for my idiocy, was free towing and fixing. And I got a free detailing of the car, and they changed the oil, too. That's what I got.

I had to figure out why this didn't sit entirely well with me: It turns out, I hadn't been "paying the price" at all. I had no control over this. I'm not being held responsible. Even feeling guilty didn't help. There's nothing about me in this, at all.

And that's the problem. It's not about me, not about Brant Hansen.

At. All.

In sports, there's the guy on deck in the bottom of the 9th. He's struck out four times, already, but he has - as they say, all the time, in sports - "a chance to redeem himself," if he gets to the plate. He can still be the hero, and win the game for his team.  

A chance to "redeem himself."

But I'm the guy who struck out four times, waits on deck for his chance... and doesn't get to the plate. The guy in front of me hits the game-winning homer. We win! We're the champions! He did it, not me. I didn't redeem myself. Now, I'm sitting in the locker room, and I should be celebrating with everyone else. 

-----

Truth is, we find this very, very hard to accept, but we can't redeem ourselves. Oh, we like to think we can, deep down, so it's still about us. Carrying around guilt? Still about us. Feeling stupid? Still about us. Feeling like a failure? Still about us. Turning our guilt into seemingly productive energy, seemingly "right" things to do? Still about us. Seems so... so... so "righteous", and yet, when we can't take our eyes off ourselves to celebrate the win, it's just plain about us. That's pride.

And pride always hurts, but it's positively deadly when masked by our attempts to pay our own way with our religious activity. 

The game is over. We're in the religious locker room, still trying to redeem ourselves.

And God is popping the cork.

Comments (52) -

5/14/2012 7:06:13 AM
Bob Speakman United States
Bob Speakman
What a beautiful illustration of what God has done for us.  Thank you for this... I feel that way sometimes... Like I've failed as a man.... and that somehow I should be doing more to fix things... to make things right.

I can't.

I sure wish I could. If I could fix things my life would be much better.... and there it is again.

If I could fix everything, I wouldn't ever need help. If I could save myself, what good is a savior?

MY sins can't be defeated by MY hands. What are my hands good for? Striking that spike into Jesus again... making sure He's good and nailed to that cross.

Only Jesus can make us whole... make us clean... save us... from ourselves.  Allows us to have freedom so that we can have peace.... A peace that isn't fabricated by human hands... but by God's grace.

Amen, Brant.  Thanks for being vulnerable. You help others by letting us see into your world like this. Hope your back is doing better!
5/14/2012 7:42:12 AM
LRC United States
LRC
Yes, amen!
5/14/2012 8:37:37 AM
Waiting for my flight United States
Waiting for my flight
Yea, I am an idiot too. I can't begin to tell you how many times I have put myself in a hole and then had to cry out to G-D for help. He has to be getting tired of me. How may lazy moves I have done only to have to work harder at the end. I can image G-D just shaking his head. I have been crowned the king of procrastination. My philosophy was why do it now when there is a tomorrow. The grace meter pointer has to be pointing to empty. I have beaten myself for the entire mistake that I am. I can be pretty ungrateful and rude to the King of Kings too. The audacity. How can a King love me so much as broken and foul as I am. I can't explain it, I just don't understand it, but I just believe it. I just know I will never stop praising his name.  It is good to know I am in good company of other bone heads like myself. I tell people that these hard times will be our war stories for when we are in heaven we can get around the camp fire and talk about the great deeds G-D has done for us.

Flight
5/14/2012 11:59:09 AM
Bernadette Martin Canada
Bernadette Martin
I have always felt that there is more than one way to tithe. When not able to give financially to a cause I believe in, I try to give my time and gifts. Perhaps Brant, the good people at Volkswagen were aware of who you are and what you represent. Perhaps they are aware that by working in Christian radio as opposed to its secular counterpart, you are making a financial sacrifice. Perhaps they know that you donate a great deal of your time and money to incredibly beautiful missions like CURE International. Perhaps this was a way for the decision makers at Volkswagen to tithe. Or maybe it wasn't. Maybe their decision was purely public relations/marketing driven. But maybe it was tithing. I'm hoping so. Get back on your feet soon Smile
5/14/2012 12:03:47 PM
Chuck Petersen United States
Chuck Petersen
Been there and still doing it. Thanks for the very clear reminder that it is not about me but about HIM!
5/14/2012 1:15:28 PM
Jason Thompson United States
Jason Thompson
@Bernadette Martina Perhaps, but wouldn't it be cool if they didn't.  If they did it because Brant did all the cool things that he did, then that's not grace.  There's nothing wrong with it if that's the case, but I think it makes a better illustration of grace if they fixed it not in response to all of the cool things that Brant did.
5/14/2012 1:28:04 PM
Brant Hansen United States
Brant Hansen
Thank you!

And I'm quite certain that Volkswagen has no idea who I am, or what I do, besides the fact that we drive one of their cars.  But I very much appreciate the thoughts, Bernadette!

5/14/2012 2:01:21 PM
CheeseDoodleBandit United States
CheeseDoodleBandit
Wow.  That was beautiful.
5/14/2012 2:28:42 PM
Mrs. Scott United States
Mrs. Scott
I came to Jesus to save my life when I was 22ish. That was a LONG time ago Smile I had lived a life that I needed to be saved from. After that I spent many many years getting to know Him more~ seeking Him with all my heart~ trying to do all the right things and none of the wrong things. Honestly I got pretty good at it! I gave God the glory while I wiped the sweat from my own brow. (I didn't realize that detail at the time) Two decades later, my world as I knew it blew to smithereens without my permission. I could not BELIEVE that after all those years of walking with my Loving Savior that this could possibly be happening. How could my Christian believing husband who btw led me to Christ all those years ago, leave me? How could I be watching my teenage children destroy themselves? How could I let go of my two foster daughters who we told we were their parents for 3 years? I told God I didn't want Him in my life anymore (Yes - I did that...)if this is what I got from following Him "so faithfully".  I proceeded to kill the pain I was experiencing anyway I could and not get arrested (I had boundaries ok?!) I felt like a full body burn victim. Nothing stopped the pain. God stepped in. He gave me messages of comfort I had never heard of before. Messages of grace I had never heard before. He began to show me things about Himself I never learned before in all those years of "studying to show myself approved" (btw I now think I was mis-interperetting that contextually) He began to restore all that the "locust" had eaten away all those years. Actually, restoration is probably not the word, because there was virtually NOTHING left of me. I am here now not because of anything "right" I EVER did but ONLY because God came and picked me up and gave me life again (or maybe for the first time?) I know I was "saved" a long time ago~ but I also know, I am just recently "living" the abundant life He came and died and rose to give to me. I do not deserve it in any way. It's not about me either! It really isn't.
5/14/2012 2:47:06 PM
Cynthia United States
Cynthia
I can so relate! I'm very forgetful. Seven months ago the dentist told me that my daughter  needed a tooth filled. I forgot to make the appointment, so at her next visit he informs me that she now needs a root canal followed by a crown, and no insurance to cover it. I felt/feel very guilty. Not just because she has to go through this, but because we don't have an extra couple of grand laying around for dental work.

I'm starting to move forward though, instead of wallowing in my past mistake. No chance to redeem what I've done. Thankfully, she doesn't blame me or make me feel bad. That helps a lot.

I've also found in grasping and embracing the freedom of the finished work of Christ, I have a lot less guilt with my sins.
5/14/2012 2:57:19 PM
Big K United States
Big K

Never does the Bible talk about the idea of “forgiving yourself.” We are told to forgive others when they trespass against us and seek forgiveness. When we ask for God’s forgiveness based on Christ's payment for our sins and our trust in Him as Savior, He forgives us. It's that simple (1 John 1:9).  Now this doesn't just apply to sin but any act of stupidity. Even though we are released from the bondage to sin (as spoken of in Romans chapters 6-8), we can still choose to wallow in it and act as though we are not free from it. The same with guilty feelings, we can accept the fact that we are forgiven in Christ, or we can believe the lie that we are still guilty and should therefore feel guilty.

The Bible says that when God forgives us, He “remembers our sins no more" (Jeremiah 31:34). This does not mean that the all-knowing God forgets because He forgives us. Rather, He chooses not to bring it up and relate that action to who you are becoming and meant to be through His Son. He washed it away. When our former sins come to mind, we can choose to dwell upon them (with the resulting guilty feelings), or we can choose to fill our minds with thoughts of the awesome God who forgave us and thank and praise Him for it (Philippians 4:8). Remembering our sins is only beneficial when it reminds us of the extent of God’s forgiveness and makes it easier for us to forgive others (Matthew 18:21-35).

Sadly, there are people who don’t forgive themselves because they really don’t want to forget their former sins, choosing rather to continue getting a vicarious thrill out of reliving them in their minds. Some prefer not to dwell on their past sins but on choices that led them to sin. I was one of them. An endless cycle of repetitive torment I caused myself in the hopes that through the pain I could remember what I had lost through my decisions. But remembering the good times is well and good, remembering the choices that led to sin wishing you could have changed them or the sin itself is not. You see, a man who lusts in his heart after a woman is guilty of the sin of adultery (Matthew 5:28). In the same way, each time we mentally relive our sin, we commit the same sin over again. The pattern of sin/guilt/sin/guilt can be destructive and never-ending. The downward spiral of darkness as I called it once.

Remembering that our sins are forgiven should make it easier to forgive others their sin (Matthew 7:1-5; 1 Timothy 1:15). Forgiveness should remind us of the great Savior who forgave us, undeserving though we will always be, and draw us closer in loving obedience to Him (Romans 5:10; Psalm 103:2-3, 10-14). God will allow our sin to come to mind, but He wants us to accept His forgiveness and rejoice in His grace. So, the next time your feeling guilty about something, sin or stupidity; “change the channel” by choosing to dwell upon His mercies.

The longer I live the more I realize we choose our attitude. The stronger we make our minds and hearts the easier it is to choose a positive outlook on life in a Christ like way. Its the transformation through salvation by the Holy Spirit which brings us into maturity. "Be transformed by the renewing of your minds" (Romans 12:2). “Your attitude should be the same as that of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 2:5). Jesus maintained a perfect attitude in every situation because He prayed about everything and worried about nothing. We too should seek God’s guidance about every aspect of our lives and allow Him to work out His perfect will without interference. Jesus’ attitude was never to become defensive, discouraged, or depressed because His goal was to please the Father rather than to achieve His own agenda. In the midst of trials, He was patient. In the midst of suffering, He was hopeful. In the midst of blessing, He was humble.

Forgiving yourself is accepting the Mercy and Grace of God and creating an attitude like Jesus. If God forgives you, strive to change your attitude, your mind set, into one like Christ. As you grow spiritually and become stronger you always find life is less about you and more about Him.
5/14/2012 4:11:37 PM
Dorci United States
Dorci
You are so not an idiot, Brant.  You made a mistake.  It's not like you did it on purpose with some kind of malicious intentions. It was just a mistake and we all make those.  I've recently taken to heart something I heard from one of my favorite pastors, Charles Stanley.  It's about false guilt.  I've carried around false guilt all my life.  From mistakes I've made (or maybe didn't but was blamed), to bullying, to criticisms based on other people's own weirdnesses and on and on. And since all the blaming and criticism started so young, I took it all to heart and stored it all up, as if I really were guilty of something.  Now, I'm not counting my actual sins. God knows there were plenty of those. But I'm talking about things that were not sin but people made me feel bad about them because they didn't like them.  False guilt.  I think satan loves it when we carry false guilt around, because it keeps us from living in the reality of the freedom that was already purchased for us at the cross.  It keeps us bound and chained to other people's perceptions of us and those could very well be based on a lie. So for myself, I've decided to not take on any more false guilt.  My brain still wants to take hold of it, though, so I have to remind myself often.  

So glad things worked out with your car!  I'm sorry about your back, though.  I have back pain and I cringed when I saw what your vantage point had been for a number of days.  I feel your pain, buddy!  God bless you and thanks for being vulnerable and sharing your experience.  
5/14/2012 4:12:57 PM
Andrea United States
Andrea
Brant, I can't thank you enough for this post. I stayed up too late last night doing things I shouldnt have, and now here I am waking up so late in the day, not having time to do all the things I needed to. So I sit here in extreme self pity. Its moments like this when I wish I still self-injured. I am glad that 8 year battle is 6 years behind me, but its that penance that seems so right. I just need to be punished just enough so I wont do it again. Why wont God punish me so I wont stay up all night doing what I shouldnt be doing?  I feel like guilt is not enough. It has not been enough, because when the guilt wears off, I find a way to justify my sin..again.
Maybe this life really isn't all about me, but I know I've spent more of my life as a victim than a victor. But if i dont continue to punish myself, how will I know that I wont keep doing bad? Im sure my logic sounds horrible, I want to break it, but I just don't know how.
5/14/2012 4:16:04 PM
Sarah Canada
Sarah
Lovely. Really lovely. Smile
5/14/2012 4:23:16 PM
Holly United States
Holly
This post came just at the right time.
5/14/2012 5:06:51 PM
Mrs. Scott United States
Mrs. Scott
Big K~ thanks for that comment. This whole thing is goooood stuff!
5/14/2012 7:03:06 PM
Ming United States
Ming
I love this.
5/14/2012 7:08:08 PM
Trish United States
Trish
Brant, I just read this today so I thought I would share it with you.......
"We need each other's perspective. As the saying goes, "You can't see the picture from inside the frame." Our vision is limited. We widen it only by taking someone else by the hand and saying, "Look at this world, look at my life, what do you see?" Then we listen with our hearts.
And when we do, we change. We discover truth we didn't notice before. We learn, we grow, we capture a bit of life and hold it in our hands.
Together. Brant Thank you for showing us a part of who you are that takes guts.
5/14/2012 9:10:17 PM
Josh United States
Josh
This is good stuff. I really appreciate you sharing this. This is what I needed to hear.

Cheers

J
5/14/2012 9:24:13 PM
Kevin United States
Kevin
Brant,

Whenever I'm struggling with a problem in my life, I seem to end up here reading your blog and finding the answer to my problems in your words that you type into this section of cyberspace.

God uses you in an awesome way. Thank you, and bless you, for following the path that our Heavenly Father has placed in front of you!
5/15/2012 7:13:47 AM
WILLIAM MCBRIDE United States
WILLIAM MCBRIDE
Thanks Brant. The game has been rigged by God for us to win through the most precious blood of His only begotten son. We are the runts that are picked last, but we still need to improve on our game and keep swinging till we hit. Thank you for the humbling illustration.

God Bless you.
5/15/2012 8:29:51 AM
Matt E. United States
Matt E.
Great post, Brant. Our pride doesn't go down easy! (Tim Keller's short little book The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness is helpful here....But then we forget to forget ourselves again....Thanks be to God through Jesus...)
5/15/2012 10:20:32 AM
Tiff United States
Tiff
Brant - I love your way with words and how you can take such real, seemingly unimportant life events and apply them to our spiritual life.  That's really what it's all about.  And, not to mention, it's comforting to know that there are Christians out there, like yourself, who don't always put on the face of "I'm great, everything's fine all the time!"  We ALL struggle, and we ALL go through times of feeling like failures...whether it's for little stupid mistakes, or major events in life.  But, at the end of the day, God's got it all.  Thank you so much for sharing in your own special Brant way!
5/15/2012 8:51:54 PM
Georgia Aleah Haugen United States
Georgia Aleah Haugen
Wow!  That's amazing what God can do!  It's like you didn't really expect all those good things to come to you but it did and that is a blessing!  It's amazing what God can do for us when we don't deserve it! Thanks for sharing that with us!  Smile
5/16/2012 7:30:50 AM
Dee McDaniel United States
Dee McDaniel
What an awesome story, Brant! Has God's grace written all over it. It gave me chill bumps, knowing how EXACTLY that describes Jesus in our lives.
5/17/2012 9:39:24 AM
Ken Hagerman Paraguay
Ken Hagerman
I try to make use of the cheap knock-off Jesus all the time. You're right I can't redeem myself or anyone else either. Good words.
5/17/2012 11:50:52 AM
Nathan Bath United States
Nathan Bath
I just wanted to say thank you. Thank you for letting God write through you exactly what I needed to hear right now. Thank you!
5/17/2012 5:25:17 PM
Sarah Morgan United States
Sarah Morgan
Brant I listen to your show everyday when driving home from work and I think it's awesome that God is using you. I studied autism in college and help young adults with disabilities get jobs and prepare them for the workforce. I'm inspired by your testimony it gives me joy to hear how people with aspergers are being used by Christ. I have a form of  Tuberous Sclerosis, a disease that many people with autism also have and I have too struggled with understanding social cues at times.

I love how you spoke about feeling guilty and then realizing it's not about me---> it's about Christ. That HE redeems us. I'm thankful that his mercies are new every morning. I totally needed to hear this! Thanks much!
5/18/2012 8:22:19 AM
Keenan Lewelleen United States
Keenan Lewelleen
Best blog ever, thank you Brant
5/21/2012 5:22:14 AM
Donna United States
Donna
Brant,

I love listening to you -- your funny ways and your total honesty and transparency.

You are a blessing, and thank you for it.

Love in Christ,
donna
5/22/2012 3:31:34 AM
john chiarello United States
john chiarello
Brant- I have a superpower too. I can stun gun Dejays that play their accordions on air [if you call that playing!]

Hey kid- I liked your bible qoute earlier from pslams 68- thought you might like a recent post from my blog.

god bless-  John

1833- HENRY

I’ve been getting together with the homeless guys these past few days- I haven’t seen Henry in a while and I thought I better check up on the guys.

Henry- who I have written about a lot- is one of the close friends from the street.

He grew up in the north east- Mass. - so we have ties.

Henry is a true bible scholar- I mean I might mention a verse and Henry will quote the entire chapter- it’s kind of like a Rain Man type thing- but instead of remembering the gambling numbers- he does it with the bible.

Anyway we had a good fellowship- we went for a nice ride over the causeway and headed towards Rockport- just a chance for Henry to see the area.

I went to pick him up at the boat dock where he works- but missed him- caught him at the mission.

I gave Henry some money- he doesn’t drink or get drunk [or do drugs] with the money so it’s not like I’m contributing to the delinquency of a senior.

When we got back to the house I cooked a few things for Henry- though he did not want me to- yet he ate well.

He likes to catch the sports on my Direct TV- he’s a sports nut- knows all the latest stats- reads the scores in the paper- or catches a coffee at the Mexican restaurant and watches the sports on the tube.

From what I have picked up over the years- I think Henry used to be one of the top wrestlers at his high school- till this day- Henry looks to be in top physical shape- like he works out- he’s a few years older than me- 52?- yet he’s a health nut.

So he likes being able to catch the multiple sports channels on my TV.

Henry had a good day- and for a real homeless guy- looks the part- you would never know what a straight shooter he is.

One time we were sitting at the homeless mission and they were gonna do the Lords Supper.

I said ‘great- I'm in’ Henry did not partake- he later told me it would be a violation of the apostle Paul’s order to the Corinthians not to partake with sinners- and yes- some of the guys were drunk.

Yeah- he was right- I just felt like I needed to partake at the time.

The next day I took a ride to the bay front area of our city- one of the most beautiful downtowns you will ever see- many post cards have the area highlighted.

I just took a walk by the bay- and spotted a homeless girl- I was surprised- I rarely have seen them in that area.

I talked to her a little while and gave her some money- she was a Black girl.

About a mile down the road I also saw a Black kid sleeping on the bench- obviously homeless too- I think she might have been with him.

The other day I mentioned that in the next few weeks I will try and read/study 1st John.

He is the 3rd ‘pillar’ in the 3 main church leaders that we wanted to cover.

Even though I barley started reading the letter- I know one of the main themes from John is ‘he that obeys Gods commands is from God’.

John hits this theme a lot.

And then he says the command is ‘he that sees his brother in need and does not help him- how can Gods love be in you?’

This theme is repeated over and over again in John’s letter- and it’s the same message Jesus gave when he was asked what the great commandment was.

‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and might- and your neighbor as yourself’.

Jesus said ‘on these 2 hang all the law and the prophets’.

Yeah- this is the major emphasis that we will look at when we cover his letter.

I think I will try and see the guy’s today- maybe go down to the mission for a little while.

Not all of the homeless are like Henry- Henry works- does not get ‘a check’ [if you knew how many young guys- perfect health- are all getting govt. checks it would make you sick].

No- Henry- like some of my other friends [Tim] does not live off of the welfare system.

They do eat the free lunch at the mission [which I do not- I don’t take the meals that are intended for the poor] yet I see retried/working people drive up in the cars- or on their motorcycles- and they simply come for the free food.

The mission even has said to me ‘John- eat- because the more people who sign up- the more money we get’.

Geez- I know they mean well- but it’s like when I worked at the fire dept. - we tried to use all the money in our budget- even if we didn’t need it- just so they wouldn’t cut our budget the next year.

So we need to keep these things in mind when the accusation is made politically ‘they want to take food from grandma- kids’ in some of these cases its food from people who have it- but they prefer the free meals instead.

All in all I focus on the truly needy- the guys who have lived their entire lives on the streets.

Yeah- John said if we see our brother in need and don’t help him- then how can we say Gods love is in us?








www.corpuschristioutreachministries.blogspot.com
Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to ‘click’ the note App on my Facebook Profile- I have posted lots.





5/22/2012 1:22:39 PM
Bill Lurwick United States
Bill Lurwick
I thought at first, I was reading a script for the latest Direct TV commercial...whew, and here I was worried...Smile
5/23/2012 9:48:29 PM
JN United States
JN
I'm thinking my next car should be Volkswagen.
5/25/2012 5:01:57 AM
Monica To United States
Monica To
Hi, I was listening to you talking about the university professor talking with his atheistic student. I would like to share that story with my friends. Can you write it out?
Thanks, Monica
5/25/2012 11:45:23 AM
Clifford United States
Clifford
This too shall pass we all live and learn so don't beat yourself up.

I wanted to comment on what you were talking about this morning. I tried to call but never got through. You said, they asked women if they would take $600,000 if they had to gain 10lbs and keep it. I am shocked that most women said no, they are not thinking it through. Most women will gain an average of 10-20lbs when they become pregnant and will never get back to their pre-pregnancy weight.  So, if you take into account that it will cost on average about $500,000 to raise a child from birth to high school graduation and they will never be able to lose the weight anyway, it would make more sense to take the money, raise the child debt free and profit about $100,000. Just a simple thought.
5/28/2012 2:08:09 AM
RH United States
RH
I heard you talking about this on the air, and it reminded me of a topic that we discussed in a small faith sharing group that I took part in. The question posed was this:
Is it harder to forgive, or be forgiven?

Many people believed that it was harder to be forgiven- but my answer was simple...

It's far harder to forgive. Often we have the hardest time forgiving ourselves, harboring guilt or resentment when God (and often other people involved) have moved on.

Remember it's important to always move forward, punishing ourselves (and others) can often inhibit growth and learning.
5/30/2012 7:25:04 AM
TC Avey United States
TC Avey
yeah, I've felt like this before. So glad God doesn't hit me upside the head and tell me to get over myself.  I don't need Him to hit me, I'm busy doing it enough myself. Feels so good when I finally let go and celebrate with God!
5/31/2012 12:03:02 PM
nikki & greg mcbroom United States
nikki & greg mcbroom
As someone who's awfully hard on myself too, Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this incredibly humbling observation.
I was so moved and am grateful for the gifting God has placed in you.
6/4/2012 11:22:16 AM
Maritza United States
Maritza
Dear Brant,
We can all feel like the stupidest of stupid idiots at times, like when we accidently set fire to something......or jump off a grand piano...and break an arm, but truth be we are more. Like the song from Tenth Avenue North-You are more than the sum of your past mistakes. As for pride and guilt? Pride is like.... a "ninja assassin". Too much is bad, but too little can make you feel helpless and horrible. Also the "ninja assassin of guilt", you feel so over whelmed by your guilt that you feel you cant do much of anything. Sometimes the best thing to do is 1) learn from it 2) say sorry 3) and do what you feel would be the best. Now, I don't mean to belittle your feelings, I don't know how it's like to be in that exact situation but I know that when I do something I am ashamed of or guilty about, I bring my worries to God. He takes care of all our problems and shows us a new route. You paid $0 dollars for the repair, a gift from God. Maybe He wanted to show you that even though people can make a "costly" mistake, He is right there by your side and He will help you "pay" for it. However, your guilt will teach you something.....and that is that you have a 99.9% chance of not making that mistake again. God has it all under control, He is just waiting for us to accept that. Smile God is for us, and will always be there for us. Smile And I hope your back gets better.
6/7/2012 6:10:09 PM
terry United States
terry

June is National Accordion Awareness Month, and accordions, of course, are vital instruments for polka. So a fine way to celebrate this month is to mark your calendars for September 13 to 16 and the 33rd annual Polkamotion by the Ocean festival in Rehoboth Beach, Del.! Why do we tell you this? Well, after you soak up the polka, you can head a few blocks to the six-mile Junction and Breakwater Trail....ride a bike more Brant, blesses you, and God's wonderful creation around us.
6/8/2012 7:01:04 AM
Stephen Haggerty United States
Stephen Haggerty
Love it, man. In our attempts to live as moralistic deists, Christ steps in, changes the game, and just asks us to follow and accept His grace.
6/16/2012 3:19:26 PM
Emily United States
Emily
Hey Brant. This is very random, but I caught a lizard yesterday and decided to name it "Dave" because of your awesome naming skills..... Dave ran away -_-
6/17/2012 12:47:21 PM
jarred C. United States
jarred C.
i have had a hard time with life myself so far, but i am trying to understand why God puts these obstacles in our way. here is what i have come up with. without these bad things happening to us and us feeling that we are a failure we would never truly understand what the grace of God is. i have met a lot of "religious" people and the ones that never face challenges that make them feel like a failure are in my opinion the most arrogant of God's grace and what it can do. now i am not trying to insult anyone here, but think about it for a moment. if you never are brought to rock bottom how can you understand that that is where God is most powerful. Brant, you addressed the issue once that the religious people are more afraid of God than those people who are morally inadequate. i believe that this is because the people who are morally inadequate have seen the worst of things and they see that God is willing to forgive them for what they have done, but the religious people take the grace of God for granted. i personally have been in a very dark place, i have sinned, i even was going to commit suicide, but God has better plans for me. he has forgiven my most heinous sins, i still have a long way to go in my walk with God, and i know that it will not be easy. because of his grace i will never give in to Satan's callings to just give up my life to him. i am donning God's armor and fighting the good fight.
6/20/2012 11:29:03 AM
Lauren A. United States
Lauren A.
BRANT,
repeat after me, "GOD SPARED ME A TON OF CASH AND I AM GREATFUL. I WILL NOW COMPLETELY STOP MY REGRETS IF I HAVE NOT ALREADY DONE SO." Sorry, i felt the need. anyway, i have no experience where i have done any thing this...strange. but, know this, there are many people who have done dumber things. it should not make you feel better, but... yeah. dont punish yourself, and i hope your injury heals quickly and with little pain.
   ~Lauren, 13 Smile Laughing
6/20/2012 11:33:30 AM
Lauren A. United States
Lauren A.
***QUESTION***
Was it a VW Beetle? (respond please!) Tong
7/20/2012 7:27:48 PM
Cameron United States
Cameron
This is a wonderful post! It really hit me that I've been trying to make it about me. There are times when I worship and serve God that I make it about Him, but there are also times when I go back to that "this is embarrassing" and "I feel guilty" attitude. Thank you for opening my eyes to the fact that I don't need to feel that pride any more; it's time to "lay down my pride" as Jeremy Camp says.
8/25/2012 6:43:49 PM
StephenT United States
StephenT
I loved this post.

Reminds me of the parable where that guy gets forgiven that humongous debt and then goes after the deadbeat who owes him far less.  That guy is me.   I know this because I believe that he didn't demand that money to buy some new clothes or a new car. He had a purpose for that money.  He had a purpose to his wretched behavior.  It was to repay a part of the debt he was forgiven, so that his redemption might be, even if just a little bit, about him.

Left to it's own devices that's what my heart wants to do.  And the parable teaches me about the places my heart is willing to go to help repay that debt ... that they are wicked.  Jesus wants me to understand.  All is grace.  And it's all about Him.

2/23/2013 5:20:32 PM
Jeanette Hoffman United States
Jeanette Hoffman
Beautiful illustration of our Father's love for us.
2/23/2013 5:23:08 PM
deb United States
deb
wow...
2/23/2013 5:23:45 PM
deb United States
deb
wow...
2/23/2013 5:32:21 PM
deb United States
deb
why are we like this and how do we stop and just enjoy the victory????
2/23/2013 6:10:00 PM
Khaliyah United States
Khaliyah
This is so good. I often beat myself up over my mistakes. The more we feel guilty the more we hide from God. Just like Adam & Eve in the garden. The minute they realized they sinned, they hid. (Gen. 3:8-10) But God doesn't want us to hide. One of my favorite verses is Song of Songs 2:14, "My dove  in the clefts of the rock, in the hiding places on the mountainside, show me your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely." God loves to see your face, He loves to hear your voice, EVEN when you mess up. He wants us to cry out to Him and receive His mercy...that's the whole reason He died on the cross anyways! "I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!" (Gal. 2:21) The more we hide from God the less we receive His love and His mercy. And when we don't receive His love and mercy we can't extend love or mercy to anyone else. Don't believe Satan's lies! God is not disappointed or angry, He is pleased and He wants us to pleased with ourselves too.
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