9 LESSONS LEARNED (Special Post)

Here’s another post from Philip Wagner:

Last Sunday was awesome.

I was in Palm Desert at Champion Life Center. Eddie and Tammy Windsor are the pastors. I heard Chad Veach and Rich Wilkerson Jr. speak at the Rev Conference. Great young leaders!! Micah and Bethany Cravalho are the leaders of RevChurch who put on the conference.

I heard that Oasis Church was once again amazing. John Siebeling, Nancy Alcorn, Marcos Witt and Oasis staff and worship team – what else would you expect?

People ask me, “How’s the sabbatical going?” Here are some answers…

9 things I’ve learned so far… or lessons I’m trying to learn:

1. According to an ancient Christian legend, a saint once knelt down and prayed, “Dear God, I have only one desire in life. Give me the grace of never offending You again.” When God heard this, He started laughing out loud. “That’s what they all ask for. But if I granted everyone this grace, tell Me, whom would I forgive?”

2. The present time is of the highest importance— it is time to wake up to reality … The night is nearly over, the day has almost dawned. Let us arm ourselves for the fight of the day! Romans 13:11–12

3. Our love of speed, our obsession with doing more and more in less and less time, has gone too far.

Falling behind at work? Get a quicker Internet connection.

No time for that novel you got at Christmas? Learn to speed-read.

Diet not working? Try liposuction.

Too busy to cook? Buy a microwave.

And yet some things cannot, should not be sped up. They take time; they need slowness. When you accelerate things that should not be accelerated, when you forget how to slow down, there is a price to pay.

There is more to life than increasing its speed.

4. On 18 years of his career, Steve Martin said, “Ten of those years were spent learning, four years were spent refining, and four were spent in wild success.”

Preparation and patience. Preparation and patience.

5. This is the God of the gospel of grace. A God who, out of love for us, sent the only Son He ever had wrapped in our skin. He learned how to walk, stumbled and fell, cried for His milk, sweated blood in the night, was lashed with a whip and showered with spit, was fixed to a cross, and died whispering forgiveness on us all. – Brennan Manning

6. A man was being pursued by a ferocious tiger. The man raced to the edge of a cliff, glanced back, and saw the growling tiger about to spring. The man spotted a rope dangling over the edge of the cliff. He grabbed it and began shinnying down the side of the cliff out of the clutches of the tiger. Whew! Narrow escape. The man then looked down and saw a quarry of jagged rocks five hundred

feet below.

He looked up and saw the tiger poised atop the cliff with bared claws. Just then, two mice began to nibble at the rope. What to do?

The man saw a strawberry within arm’s reach, growing out of the face of the cliff. He plucked it, ate it, and exclaimed, “Yum! That’s the best strawberry I’ve ever tasted in my entire life.”

If he had been preoccupied with the rock below (the future) or the tiger above (the past), he would have missed the strawberry God was giving him in the present moment. Children do not focus on the tigers of the past or the future but only on the strawberry that comes in the here and now.

7. A broken heart has always been one of the great catalysts in human history to stir a man up and create something new in his life.

8. “Being engaged is a way of doing life, a way of living and loving. It’s about going to extremes and expressing the bright hope that life offers us, a hope that makes us brave and expels darkness with light. That’s what I want my life to be all about—full of abandon, whimsy, and in love. I want to be engaged to life and with life.” – Bob Goff

9. “Almost everyone knows about Tom Sawyer Island at Disneyland, but most people don’t go. Tom Sawyer Island is like most people’s lives, I think: they never get around to crossing over to it.”I used to want to fix people, but now I just want to be with them.” – Bob Goff