Learning to be Humble

I find that this year everything seems to be blending together more and more. In a normal year when I would write this update I would think back on the big events that have happened, or think about our large group meetings, but now without those markers things seems to be a blur. While we may be missing these big events as markers, there is a flip side that is really positive. Denton FOCUS is doing really well, there haven't been any major crises or events, and ministry is still happening day in and day out. Perhaps even more so than in a normal year. I've found that people on the edges of my life seem to be further away, but people that I see every week or almost every day I feel much closer too. I know exactly what is going on in their lives, and they could say the same for me. In this closeness another level of ministry unfolds, perhaps one more like Jesus' ministry in the first place. One where people know and are known. One where we can focus on what is happening in the lives around us. So for this blog instead of focusing on the macro like I usually do, I want to focus on the micro. Specifically how God has been working in my peer team in the last couple weeks.

Setting up for a outdoor worship night we did. The actual event was mostly in the dark so there are no good photos. But it went well!

It seems that the Lord has been working in my life as well as in the lives of those around me in similar ways. I think that seems to be one of His favorite things to do within a community. The thing that we've all be processing together is this theme of pride. Pride is a sneaky thing, that shows up in unexpected ways. When I mentioned in peer team 2 weeks ago that we would be talking about pride, there were mixed reactions. As I scanned the faces of my student leaders I saw expressions of boredom (I don't struggle with that, this isn't going to be relevant to me), I saw downcast expressions (oh man pride again, time to feel crappy about myself), and then finally some expressions of curiosity (I really don't even know what I think about pride). So huddled around a little Bluetooth speaker we listened to a sermon our director Garrett gave about a year and a half ago about the sin of pride. He talked about how so many of us struggle with pride without even knowing it. We think if we have a low opinion of ourselves then certainly pride isn't our thing. But the truth is that pride isn't thinking too highly of yourself but rather thinking of yourself too much. A self-obsession. Often the self-obsession takes place in being critical of ourselves. What will they think of ME? What if I mess up. MY day has been so horrible. This sermon is boring to ME. I'M the worst person ever. Lord will you please make ME feel better. Obsessing over being the best person ever, or the worst person ever are both prideful actions. So humility is not actually thinking less of yourself, it is thinking of yourself less. Focusing instead on God and others.

The problem with social distancing for Core is that I can never get everyone in the photo all at once, 

As the sermon went on I rescanned the faces of my guys. If we lived in a cartoon universe the whole park would've been lit up by the amount of lightbulbs switching on above their heads. One guy who had been struggling with shame and negative self talk for years finally realized the key to his problem wasn't to somehow think better of himself, but rather to shift his focus. Shift what his universe revolved around. As he put it, for all his life the solar system had revolved around the Earth (him), and so if the Earth was doing bad it through off the whole solar system. But now he needed to shift to having to solar system revolve around the Sun (God). That way when the Earth wasn't doing well, its path wouldn't be righted by somehow fixing the Earth, but rather that the Sun would pull it back into a steady orbit. Another of my guys who had been dealing with suicidal thoughts earlier in the week realized that so much of the darkness in his heart and mind was actually because once again positive and negative, the universe revolved around him. His thoughts were consumed by thinking of himself, how things and people affected him, and what others perceptions of him were. At the end of the day its a simple truth that could be taught to a 5 year old. Consider God and others before yourself. Simple yes, but very hard to apply. Growing in the discipline of self-forgetfulness is a hard thing, and and an even harder thing is to balance that with maintaining your own health and stability. But although this may just be a foundational truth, sometimes that is what we need to be reminded of the most.

What church looks like for us nowadays 

Prayer Requests:

Pray for our students who are hurting and depressed. Specifically for the student in my group who has had suicidal thoughts.

Pray for the students at the year comes to a close and many head back home. Pray they can be lights to their families and stay plugged into community even when hours away.


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