The problem of crippling shyness and how the church can help

This article reflects so many of my own thoughts and frustrations!…….

Building Jerusalem

Morrissey famously sang, ‘shyness is nice, and shyness can stop you from doing all the things in life you’d like to’. Less famously, my Dad once opined that whilst ‘confidence is a good trait; shyness never did anything for anyone’. I think I probably agree with both sentiments, more or less.

Like Morrissey, I have bouts of crippling shyness. Also like Morrissey, I can shoot my mouth off. Stood in a pulpit, at the front of a meeting or in some conference or other, I can do a good line in sounding and appearing pretty confident and self-assured. There is a helpful distance between the lectern and your audience. I can happily sound off in a blog post from the relative safety of my office and at a comfortable distance from anyone reading. Sat in a room full of people I know a bit but not well, all the worst…

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FOLLOW THE CLOUD: Hearing God’s Voice One Next Step at a Time by John Stickl (Multnomah/Waterbrook Press; 2017)

FOLLOW THE CLOUD by pastor and first-time author John Stickl takes a relatively brief, yet fulfilling and encouraging look at the desire that God has to lead His children on a continual basis, and that this type of intimate and relational expression of life with God is available to all Christians now. Using the Old Testament example of how the Lord led the Israelites through the wilderness to the Promised Land through a cloud by day (and fire by night) to lead the people exactly where they needed to go when they needed to go. Stickl challenges readers to “follow the cloud —- courageously taking next steps when we see God move. The author breaks his explanation of following God more closely into four sections. Section 1 — Awaken to Life — makes the case that believers today have more access to God than the Israelites did in the Old Testament, and that the Lord means for us to follow Him in a dependent and trusting daily walk. Section 2 — Receive His Grace — builds a foundation for this intimate walk by demonstrating the love and grace of God, and believers’ identity as sons and daughters rather than servants or sinners. Section 3 — Experience His Presence — goes into detail to describe what “following the cloud” entails, and all the various ways that God communicates with us. Finally, Section 4 — Release His Kingdom — lays out a vision of what a willingness to trust and obey God can mean in the individual believers’ lives, as well as in the lives of their family, friends, coworkers, church members, communities and society at large. Stickl writes in an honest, self-effacing manner as someone who has only recently learned more about the love of God and His desire to lead him and all believers in all things; so that striving and despair can cease, and Christians can live in the joy and freedom that Christ desires and delivered to us through His sacrifice and obedience to the Father. This aspect of Stickl’s writing reminds me in a good way of other authors like Craig Groeschel who write not as “super Christians” who have had very extraordinary experiences and blessings with God that would make readers feel guilty and self-conscious; but rather as a follow struggler who has had to learn some difficult lessons, but now wants to share his joyful discoveries with others. This book is extremely encouraging and uplifting, and as a believer who has had many ongoing struggles in learning to trust God and totally depend on Him, this book was like a breath of fresh air to me. I would highly recommend this book for all believers.

Handling Mistakes

I like how this article links the making of the tabernacle with how to handle mistakes as a Christian…..

Call 2 Witness

From the blue, purple and scarlet yarn they made woven garments for ministering in the sanctuary. They also made sacred garments for Aaron, as the Lord commanded Moses.

They made the ephod of gold, and of blue, purple and scarlet yarn, and of finely twisted linen. They hammered out thin sheets of gold and cut strands to be worked into the blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen—the work of skilled hands.

They fashioned the breastpiece—the work of a skilled craftsman. They made it like the ephod: of gold, and of blue, purple and scarlet yarn, and of finely twisted linen. It was square—a span long and a span wide—and folded double.

21 They tied the rings of the breastpiece to the rings of the ephod with blue cord, connecting it to the waistband so that the breastpiece would not swing out from the ephod—as the Lord

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