July 2014-Mountain Haven Newsletter
“Confounding the Wise with Foolishness”
“But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty”. I Corinthians 1:27 (American King James version)
Perhaps you have wondered, like I have, why you do the things you do. Those stupid, habitual choices that continue to show your weakness and your struggle. I keep circling the same old habit in marriage. It is a “foolish” habit but nevertheless it is a temptation I face. I am tempted to look at a behavior, or personality characteristic in Kevin and tell myself “it will never change.” The worst part, and even more foolish part, is that it tempts me to feel wounded. My flesh screams out “it’s not fair” or “how long does this have to go on?” I know Kevin has asked himself the same question about some of my continual “go to” patterns of behavior. It triggers his wounds, and can cause us both to act foolishly or stupidly toward one another.
But this is the beauty in what Paul is telling us in I Corinthians. These foolish words we say, these stupid choices we make, these old wounds we feel; exist to draw us nearer to Jesus, and farther from our own pride and self-sufficiency. Our mightiness as a great person, or an excellent oral communicator, or as a demanding and influential leader is put to the test, in light of the confounding reminder of our weakness as displayed in our responses and reactions to life. But all to often – at least for me – I fight the weakness, or despise the test, or even foolishly try to get over it as soon as possible so I can continue to have a mighty marriage and be a spectacularly strong person. I’ve been trying to sit and feel the intensity of my weakness lately. The full scope of my humanity in mind, body and spirit. Not in a “give in” to it sort of way but rather in a “stop trying to fight it” sort of way. If Christ is truly enough, than why do I try so hard to prove to the world, my kids and even the facebook crowd how mighty I truly am.
This is not to say I am not growing, or I choose to revel in all the ugliness of some of my stupid choices, but rather it’s to say I choose the path of loving others as I love myself. So having said that, I am attempting to extend grace to myself in a more loving way when I get stuck in a foolish pattern of thinking that seems to be rocking my world and affecting my interactions with Kevin, and others. I look at my wounds and my ugliness and I trust that Jesus completely understands scars, rejection, and my ultimate humanity. Since he experienced a forsakenness on the cross that is truly unfathomable, and He chose the death of humiliation and scandal; on a cross – I can rest knowing He understands my temptations to run from my wounds and my failures and the tests of life that make me look like I am not managing my world so well. After all, how did it look when He was up there dying in front of everyone as a common thief? Probably pretty foolish.
This is the savior we were sent, a high priest who actually experienced a lot of junk not just so we would be spared from any pain, but so that if we weren’t – we could stay close to Jesus and not run from Him by trying to remain mighty through it all. There is just a lot of stuff that happens, and wounds that sting, and foolish, completely baffling events that we may not understand in this life. If you are confounded, then count your blessings, God is not worried- and maybe its ok that you don’t have all the answers, or the perfect income stream, or the answers to your health problems, or the best behaved kids, or a marriage without conflict. What’s important is that in your foolishness, and unknowing and your wounds, you are loving God, loving people and in doing that, also loving yourself. The less pressure I put on myself to be mighty or to fix it all, or even understand it all, the more I think I can feel God’s grace being extended to me. I don’t necessarily have to seek the best answer, or perfect plan for myself or for Mountain Haven. It seems like the best plan does unfold in these times.
Take the time to look at the questions below and answer then for yourself. In your human foolishness, God is doing something. Let Him complete it so the world can see His image in you.
What is your definition of foolishness? Wounds? Weakness?
Let’s talk about coping mechanisms that we may have in our life as a reaction to these wounds or weakness:
- Addiction to body image
- Addiction to image
- Addiction to approval
- Self-reliance- don’t need anybody
- Get quiet
- Get louder
- Money and Security
- Works righteousness
Now, list the coping mechanism or habit that is most prominent in your life that you use when you are hurting?
Now examine ways we can hide our foolishness and weakness?
- Diversion- we are too busy, we are distracted; we make no time to think.
German philosopher Kierkegaard wrote, “ If I could prescribe just one remedy for all the ills of the modern world, I would prescribe silence. For even if the words of God were proclaimed in the modern world, no one would hear it, there is too much noise, therefore create silence.”
What if instead of diversion we could carve out little silent moments for ourselves, ask ourselves today;“Am I acting out of hurt or pain? What if anything is unresolved? Is there a hurt between you and a friend or you and your spouse? An unresolved issue?”
- Indifference- A lackadaisical care of the “why”, What does it matter? Apathy-Why should I care about it, I am living for today?
Hebrews 5:13-14, “Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.”
What if instead of indifference we could take notice of the opportunities that hurt, challenge, or make us uncomfortable with a friend, our spouse, our kids or others- start asking ourselves the deeper question of “Why” we act the way we do. Be intentional in relationships.
- Propaganda-“This is the way I am”,“I can’t help it”, “This is my personality.” We feed ourselves the truths we want to hear about why we do the things we do, or act the wounded ways we do. The reality is God sees all, he knows that there are wounds buried deep inside and he wants to reveal them and allow us to see ourselves through HIS eyes.
Hebrews 4:13 “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.”
The bottom line is that we can use Gods word to build up who we are rather then rely on just our personalities or habitual responses. We can ask others to intentionally sharpen us and challenge us to grow differently or stand with us for a weakness we are experiencing.
Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper then any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart- nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.”
Let’s remember that in the end it is the mightiness and majesty of our Savior and the creator of this universe that draws others to Him. The common brokenness of our humanity allow us to not judge others foolishness, or feel frustrated with another person’s wounds. In reality, others feel drawn to our transparency about our shared humanity and the hope that Jesus compels us to grow out of it. Be that “foolish”example today if you dare.
MINISTRY AT A GLANCE
Financials: July’s Monthly Revenue Required including the funds needed for the Mission team coming out from First Baptist Rogers, Arkansas: $19,600.00 -Monthly Revenue Received: $17,000.00 Remaining Need: $2600.00 (this is our construction month to finish strong so our need is greater in order to complete the ministry home)
Number of couples & individuals we ministered to last month: We did three day-long intensives for couples and 3 google chat counseling sessions as well as ministered to 20 Individuals(women, men and kids) plus we had over 70 visitors out to Mountain haven in the last two months.
Current ministry/ ranch projects: 1.) Building a prayer chapel on site for private reflection and prayer. 2.) Completing the second available private bedroom and bathroom for another couple or family. 3.) Starting our fall fundraiser called 30 days of Guns- we are super excited to share this with you.
Something Interesting or Unique that happened last month: 1.) We had a mission team of 55 people out for the last 8 days completing the many projects here at Mountain Haven to make this place ready for on-site intensives with full accommodations. 2.) We hosted an outreach event in the Canon City Veterans park where the music group Random Hero performed and it was an unbelievable experience.
Top Praise of the Month: We met some amazing team members form First Baptist Rogers church in Arkansas and had a lot of excellent worship here on the mountain, it was a phenomenal experience.
Top Prayer Requests: 1.)We are still in need of more monthly support. 2.)Our son is getting married to his beautiful bride in a month, pray that the travels are smooth and our time away is enjoyable. 3.) We still need a wood boiler to heat the ministry home this winter.
Looking Ahead: 1.) We have a wonderful family coming out in a few days to enjoy the solitude and beauty of Mountain Haven. They have been part of Mountain Haven since the beginning. It will be a great time. 2.) We will be starting groups again in the fall, we are gearing up for that.
Mountain Haven Exists to walk with others in a way that confounds the wise
We are donation based for this very reason. We don’t have to turn others away. Your gifts allow us to reach people who are in real pain. They face the pain of adultery, pornography addictions, divorcing parents, sexual abuse and other painful circumstances. We need more monthly supporters to help us continue our outreach to individuals and families. Will you consider partnering with our donation based efforts and become our monthly partner? Your gift is tax deductible and every dollar goes a long way.
Pray about how to support this effort. Give at www.mountainhavenmarriageministry.com or mail a tax-deductible donation to 1160 Diamond Back Trail Canon City, CO 81212. We can provide you with monthly envelopes for giving upon your request. Stay in touch with praise or prayer requests as well. Thank you and we love you.