Tuesday, April 13, 2010

rituals, check lists, and burnout...

May you experience the love of Christ, through it is so great you will never fully understand it. Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God. --Ephesians 3:19

There needs to be a followup; an explanation of sorts. After reading yesterday's comments (I read every single comment), I couldn't help but feel an addendum had to be added. Though no one said it, perhaps I was too harsh. My intention was not to add one more item to your checklist of holiness nor was it my aim to compare our "performances" against other Christians. My goal was to simply say, Life is hard. Hang in there and you'll see results.

Desirous of encouraging us complainers, I think I may have perpetuated the failure cycle we as Christians fall victim to:
Performance --> Rituals --> Checklists --> Failure --> Guilt --> Withdraw --> Emptiness*
We don't need to do more "God-stuff," as Doug Fields would say, we need connect with God.

When we connect with God (John 15:15), we can admit that we are jacked-up sinners who will fail and complain (Romans 3:23), and come boldly before Him to ask for mercy and grace (Hebrews 4:15-16a). Doug also put a list together about connecting with God that I would feel selfish for not sharing it with you.

Connecting with God...
It's not about ritual... it's about a relationship
It's not about performance... it's about presence
It's not about a "show"... it's about showing up
It's not about "have to"... it's about "want to"
It's not about guilt... it's about grace
It's not about form... it's about friendship

Love you. Pray for you. Grateful for you.

*Cycle produced by Doug Fields


Anonymous said...

When I wrestle with this...when? I mean every DAY I think about this and the wise words of Henri Nouwen come to mind about being the beloved, soaking in God's love and then loving others out of that.

There's an excellent video here of Henri sharing about that...abiding in His love is so challenging. You think it wouldn't be, since it's love...but the effects of the fall are tragic on my ability to let God love me.

Thank you for the good thoughts, Bianca!

Jason said...

I don't think you were too harsh...maybe you were throwing out a little more meat than usual. ;)

I know that failure cycle all too well. It's something I've had to fight and still fight to this day.

Keep on keepin' on, Bianca. Your words of wisdom inspire many. :)

LaShorne said...

Bianca...thanks for keeping it REAL! I didn't comment yesterday, but too read each comment. Your words reminded me that even in the hard times... when things get really tough (exercise, health, financial, relationships, etc.) God is always there. It's our relationship with Him taht will help us get through anything. Thanks for part 2 and sharing the "cycle" illustration. Good stuff!

Christine Newhook said...

That is a pretty cool photo! I wonder how long it would take to build the bike.

I don't think you were being too harsh. I think everyone should push themselves to their limits, always. There are things that may stand in our way of achieving our goals but it is how we deal with them that defines who we are.

Thank you for speaking your mind and keeping it real :)

Kati said...

I actually appreciated yesterday's candor...but probably because I needed to hear it. I've been a big fat complainer as of late! So thanks for that kick in the butt. I actually gymed it up this morning too. Maybe as a related side effect to your post! HA.

Today's post is just as good though. Especially for those of us doing ministry as a job. We can do lots of church/God things, but never actually come before His throne!

Love YOU. Grateful for YOU. Praying for YOU.

PS. I just posted on Jasmine's blog about this too...but I sincerely hope you guys schedule these blogs to publish...it is way to early to be posting at 6:30 AM!

Gina said...

I too commented yesterday and I do NOT think that you were too harsh. I believe that God used you to speak to those of us that needed a little kick in the behind. Am I still struggling today? Yep. Have I complained today? Yep. You know what though? I have a fresh perspective and a new attitude about the whole situation. It is something that I am working through with God. Your post today just added to what I needed to hear and I appreciate that! Thank you again for being a wonderful vessel of God!

Blessings to you!!


Renay said...

Got it! ;)

the BLAH BLAH BLAHger said...

Gosh, I thought you were a good shot in the arm. I spent the morning all excited about getting in shape and reading my Bible. Then I ate ice cream and watched Gossip Girl.

Diandra Ann said...

Love that last part especially!

Emily G. said...

I also commented yesterday and did not think you were too harsh AT ALL! Interestingly enough, I "read into" yesterday's post exactly what you followed-up with today: it's about Connecting with God...maintaining the intimacy even when (or maybe especially when) the current station isn't easy. Thanks for the extra encouragement!

Annie said...


Allie Marie Smith said...

You captured the cycle we fall in to so well, and I really like Doug Field's list. A good reminder to me to stop striving and be just be still before the Lord. It's His presence, not our performance that changes us. I like this additional version of Psalm 46:10:

"Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." Psalm 46:10.

See you Sunday! xo

Dana said...

Harsh? K.I.R. remember? Sometimes people just need to hear and know the truth. The tone of your message was truth, not harsh, by any means. Thank you for praying for us, opening our minds to new ways of thinking, and sharing the love of our Lord and Saviour. We all need it and I'm so very thankful to have a kick in the rear from time to time!! ;-)

Anonymous said...

Yep, I need that MAJOR kick in the dupa...I don't like the cycle I am in, I need to get out of my personal pity party. Yesterdays post was not harsh, it is straight forward. To the point. Accurate. Real.


Anonymous said...

Addition to previous post...I struggle with this daily..gotta get my dupa movin...

thanks, luv ya

Bianca said...

@snixie: Thanks for the love and the video link! I'll check it out :)

@Jason: You always have a great way of making me less nervous about my posts. From one blogger to the next, I appreciate you!

@Christine: I loved that bike picture because sometimes I feel like I'm the one riding. Don't we all? :)

@Kati: You worked out!!! Woohoo :) I bet Steven will love you and comment on your blog... oh wait, he already does ;) PS LOVE your new blog and business. I'm very proud of you.

@Gina: Thanks so much. I don't want to be a butt-kicker, but sometimes huggers don't keep it real :)

@Renay: Love you. Glad you got it.

@JJ: Bwahahahahahahahhahaha!!!! I love your comments. They seriously make me laugh. Hard. Hope the doctors appointment went well.

@Diandra: I can't wait to see you today!!!!

@Emily: YOU FEEL ME! That was my EXACT intention. Whew. I was feeling badly. xoxo

@Annie: Keep your eyes peeled for an email.

@Allie: I'm SOOooooooo excited to fly to San Jose for the conference. I'm praying for wonderous things to occur!!!

@Dana: You don't think I'm harsh because we handle business the same way. You don't like the heat, get out the kitchen! :)

@AP: We are praying for you and love you. Get well soon!

christy said...

didn't think u were harsh at all...u were loving us and giving us some motivation;)

n e ways...yes my policy to not grumble or complain was broken, but i am still trying...my husband has been talking to me about it, not so much complaining but trusting and not worrying...i think i am sverley being tested right now...but i won't complain about it, i'll just surrender it to the Lord....

thanks for the encouragement today!!! u r awesome:)

jeanette said...

Well said yesterday and well said today!!! LOVE the "connecting with God..." piece...I'm going to borrow it! It's going on a hot pink post it on my computer screen! :)

love you!

Dana said...

LOL!!! Very true!! =)

Stephanie said...

For some of us the harshness was just what we needed!

Keep being YOU...really!

Jen Mc. said...

Love this post, and just wanted to let you know we're praying for you and can't wait until Know Your Value at SCU on Sun.!!!! :) Much love!

mac said...

Hi B.,

I don't think you was to harsh. I am very often on a cycle riding my rounds and can't find a way out. Then I need a butt kick and your post make me think about my moment cycle, also I didn't know a way out at the moment.

By the way, I want to visit Calvery Chapel Duesseldorf again. Next weekend we have Communion of my son Keno (here in our home catholic church), but after that, I want to make CCD to our homechurch.

Hope you are well too.

M. :-)

The Montgomerys said...

I loved that last part, it was so profound, and simple. God Bless you Bianca!

Laura E. Gonzalez said...

My hubby always says he doesn't want a "check the box" devotional life. He is constantly asking, why have daily devotions? Is it just because it is part of my routine (a have to)? Or does one read the Bible daily as a "get to" ? I think of course it's a priv. and a get to" not a have to...but, the flesh is powerful that we beat ourselves up about it! It's nuts. But thanks be to God He uses the Word we put into our soul for OUR GOOD (rom 8:28). Also, don't feel like you are being harsh b/c the Spirit can use those "shot in the arm" statements as some one else commented. Your blogs are such an encouragement girlie! God bless your typing hands (LOL)


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