Excruciatingly Beautiful (#823)

Those are two words you rarely see together, but they come from one of our listeners writing about the harsh betrayal of a friend and how it was going to help him discover the forgiveness that Jesus knew. He wrote, "It is excruciating beautiful to learn of it." What an accurate description of the transformative journey. When we can celebrate the painful stretches of our journeys as an opportunity for us to go deeper into the reality of Jesus, we're on to something. Embracing his work in the difficulties of our lives can only happen when we don't see God as the agency of our pain, but the Presence in our story inviting us to greater love and healing. And yet, our circumstanes, especially our successes, push us down a diferent path, where power, money, and fear can draw us away from genuineness and authenticity in the desire to grab the greatest can we can for ourselves.

Podcast Notes:
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  1. Oh my goodness!!! I literally stopped this podcast almost fourteen minutes in because of what your friend who wrote to you concerning going through rough times physically because of stress. I had been praying ALL DAY LONG today just trying to figure out what is up with my life! I could hardly believe that ABBA would actually see me through your podcast! I mean, wow. This is… I just don’t have words…


    • I’m so blessed to hear how this podcast resonated with your heart. Thanks for stopping in to let us know. I’ll be praying for you and the grace of God transforming your life.

  2. By the way, I finished listening to the podcast and it was AWESOME!! This one those podcasts that I did not want to end. I am sure I will be listening to it again. Thanks guys, for real!!

  3. Hello Marcia, saw our exchange from an earlier podcast…nice to see you’re still “out there”…and still love your enthusiasm : ) Bless you, Sue

  4. Thank you Sue. These podcasts are really awesome and, for me, difficult at the same time. They seem sort of, um, oxymoronic at times.. but yet I keep coming back… GOOD!! Bless you back.

  5. The 5th Step – “Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.” Share a personal inventory in a group? I would be reluctant to encourage anyone to take a 5th step in the presence of a 12 step gathering or with a sponsor. I think the information shared from a 4th step inventory is best shared with an individual who is specifically trained in hearing a 5th step. It’s my understanding this is generally someone who has specific education and training in counseling and/or pastoral care where confidentiality is required. It also may be helpful to share the inventory and not need to have contact with the person you shared your inventory with unless you choose to follow up with them.

    Although 12 step groups do profess “What is said here, stays here” it is important to consider we are talking about alcoholics/drug addicts or affected family members in a 12 step group where some present may not have a stable period of sobriety/recovery. Also, the type of information shared may not necessarily be appropriate for others to hear and could actually be harmful or upsetting to someone in the group. Discernment when sharing our lives with others is crucial, I think.

    I am really happy to hear someone address the 12 steps. Although outlined as 12 specific steps which can be a turn off to some, I view the process as divinely designed as a journey that occurs one step at a time in an ongoing process that is internalized over time. The steps become a way of life. Beautiful and a transformational for sure.

  6. Yes Marcia I get it….both freeing words on the podcasts…and…sometimes hard to hear. Father understands that struggle with knowing there is life here but the death of flesh hurts.

  7. Wayne read a quote from Soren Kierkegard that was rather striking. Would you send it to me?

    • Unfortunately, I’m not sure which quote you’re referring to. Was it this one?

      Christ was crucified because he would have nothing to do with the crowd (even though he addressed himself to all). He did not want to form a party, an interest group, or a mass movement, but wanted to be what he was, the truth, which is related to the single individual. Therefore everyone who will genuinely serve the truth is by that very fact a martyr. To win a crowd is no art; for that only untruth is needed, nonsense, and a little knowledge of human passions. But no witness to the truth dares to get involved with the crowd.
      Søren Kierkegaard in Provocations

  8. I love this quote from SK. Everything u said here is true. We need the KoG now.

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