I have a stream of people who will gravitate to my book, but for the sake of this space, let me just say I received great help from Bruce Springsteen as it relates to defining a significant portion of my target audience.
“These Influences Have Shaped My Life”
To preach is grace. To preach the gospel is amazing grace. I sat thinking of the enormous gift I have been given to do something that is truly worship for those who are wired in a similar fashion as me. I started to wonder what people walk away with after our time together. These are those reflections:
Abba, I belong to You. Abba! I have allowed the fact I can address You with such intimacy and tenderness to become far too plain and pallid. It has been years since I have allowed myself to wonder and gawk at the fact You have given me a spirit of Sonship by which I can address you as "Abba Father!" (Rom. 8:15)
I have known for too long or too familiarly that "Abba" is the equivalent of our English "Daddy". I have known that children would slowly learn the term Abba to address their father with an intimate tenderness. I have known it was and has been a scandal to the pious and righteous that you would be addressed with such intimacy.
That You who created this world out of the power of your voice, You by whose beauty and glory the Grand Canyon is dwarfed, You who hold all things together in life-sustaining precision, would ask to be addressed in such tenderly intimate terms has truly become too common and plain to me.
This is my confession and my repentance today. May I recognize and rest today in the wonder of the intimate spirit within me, who can address you so tenderly as my Abba!
Below is video of me teaching about The Spotlight Myth. I kicked off a series through the Sermon on the Mount for this group. [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPtbSUpqVFA?list=UUdLz82V0k8JPeWelvcm_gWg&w=560&h=315]
If you have an affinity for outrageous grace, hammered dulcimer, or the scandal of God's love...if you appreciate indie films, bare feet, white T-shirts, affronts to religious people, or good art...If you have a love for the faith, music, or life of Rich Mullins... [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NF7qbCTFja0&w=640&h=360] A few dear friends have embarked on this project to tell a story of a man who knew God's love, mercy, and grace in ways I can only imagine very few ever have. Please take a moment to support this project in one of a couple ways
1. Share this post and/or video on your social media outlets. 2. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and you city, state if you would like to see this film released in your town.
More and more, I believe the answer comes down to one thing.
Jesus replies, "Love the LORD your God with all of your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind. This is the greatest commandment." (Matthew 22:37-38)
As I am daily ambushed by God's outrageous love for me, I am more and more convinced that seeking God's will for my life is the wrong search. But I should search for His will in my life, and His will is the same as it has always been.
He wants you to love Him with all that you are. Your experiencing God depends on you having a sincere and real relationship of love. I am more and more convinced that this is more important than any.thing.else in your life.
Every decision, big or small, everything in your Christian life, everything about knowing God and knowing His will is fully dependent on the intimacy of your love relationship with God.
If this lynchpin is not in place, nothing...nothing in your life will be right.
"I am your child. I quit trying to MAKE myself presentable to you and instead trust that I AM presentable to you despite all of the things that are just parts of a sinful nature around me. I move on in that passage and believe, 'if I confess my sin, you are faithful and just and will purify me and forgive me' because again, you only see your child here, and I need not be plagued by sin OR guilt. I mean is not guilt the actual issue here? Not sin. I mean sin is just inevitable, but what IS of choice by me is whether I will allow guilt to plague me and keep me from seeing myself as your child instead of seeing myself as this horrible person. You're so much quicker to forgive me than I am to forgive myself.
A few weeks ago, I was given the opportunity to speak at Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA. Their theme for the year was PEACE and their theme verse was Philippians 4:7. [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJ6uLt-VnQo&w=560&h=315]
I was an RA at Anderson University, and I remember the chance to revisit the campus I worked. Upon the visit, I was able to hang out with the ragamuffins who lived on my floor. What a great time of fellowship! I have often said that fellowship is when the mighty descend and the lowly rise, but I also think fellowship happens when the lowly congregate. Anyway, it was wonderful to be with the men I lived close to for a year and see where their lives were then and now. My mind went back to a conversation I had with a friend of mine on campus. She said, "Ya know! They say the floor almost always becomes reflections of their RA." I thought to myself, "Oh no! That cannot happen. Nobody wants that. One P.C. is bad and crazy enough." Then I went back to visit them and realized how true that is of ANY LEADER on ANY LEVEL. If you are like me, you realize how ridiculously humbling it can be.
I went back to find freshmen and sophomores then sophomores and juniors who were IN LOVE WITH THE GOSPEL. I went back to see the craziest guys on campus then...still crazy...but almost each and every one of them filling some sort of leadership role. I saw several of them in raw honest accountability groups [ash trays included]. I saw a group of guys who pursued God with all their hearts. I got to see a group of guys in love with Jesus at the very core of their being but who are looked down upon as the "unorthodox" group.
My last day there, one of the guys came up to me before I left for the airport and said, "PC, I just went to an interview for [a large Christian summer camp], and the guy asked me, 'Who is one leader in your life you have respected the most and why,' and I said, 'PC Walker, my RA last year." He said it was because I lead in a way that built a relationship he respected, and then it was as though I stepped back to watch them grow.
I had no idea. I was just getting close to my guys and letting them get close to me...the real me.
No matter what level of leadership you are in...even if you do not think you are a leader (you ARE), WE ALL PASS A BIT OF OURSELVES ONTO OTHERS. That is the great inevitability of relationships. We all have INFLUENCE to give and receive, to pass on and take on. Its as easy as creating relationships.
Last night, my hero passed away. Brennan Manning has had the strongest impact on my bedraggled heart. Sitting with him twice over hot dogs will be moments my heart will not easily forget. But far more important than hot dogs and baseball are his reflections on the outrageous love of God in all His grace and mercy that have wrecked my heart for good since 1999. My hero finally rests in Abba's embrace for his Father was very fond of him.