BROKENNESS IS ALL ABOUT ME

We were studying Romans Chapter 2 the other day, which led back to Matthew 7:1-5…

Matthew 7:1-5 (HCSB)
1 “Do not judge, so that you won’t be judged.
2 For with the judgment you use, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
3 Why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye but don’t notice the log in your own eye?
4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and look, there’s a log in your eye?
5 Hypocrite! First take the log out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

It struck me once again how God (Jesus in this case) concentrates so strongly on getting my relationship right first. I have to own up to the fact that if my own relationship with Him is not right, I have no business trying to condescendingly tell my wife, my children, my pastor, my counselor, my Christian friends, my non-Christian friends (in short, anyone) what they are doing wrong and what they need to change.

How can I possibly think that I have the right to demand someone else treat me with more respect, or forgive me better, or stop harping on the wrongs I have committed in the past, or “forgive and forget” when I still have so much sin in my own life?

What’s that, you say? I quit that sin, so I deserve a clean slate and better treatment? No, my friend, no!

Romans 2:3 (HCSB)
3 Do you really think—anyone of you who judges those who do such things yet do the same—that you will escape God’s judgment?

1 John 1:8-10 (HCSB)
8 If we say, “We have no sin,” we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
9  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
10 If we say, “We don’t have any sin,” we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

Brokenness begins with me, with my confession to God and to those whom I have offended. Confession not just in the sense of spilling my guts, coming clean, and dumping all my garbage on someone else so I feel relieved of the burden, but the true meaning of confession: agreeing with God about the true nature of what I have done, agreeing that it is sin, and acknowledging how I have broken fellowship with Him and others.

Without true confession, true openness, there can be no true brokenness, and thus no fellowship with God or my wife or anyone else.

1 John 1:6-7 (HCSB)
6 If we say, “We have fellowship with Him,” yet we walk in darkness, we are lying and are not practicing the truth.
7 But if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.

Think about it. Pray about it. Do something about it.

Peace,

George

WIT ALIVE!

Singles

Singles Conference Overview

A Life-Changing Conference for Singles!

During the past several years, Paul and Jenny have had the joy of speaking to thousands of young people across America. They have watched as many of these same young people find “Mr.” or “Miss Perfect”, but are soon sitting before them in tears, disbelief, and hurt. They are searching for answers to issues they are facing in their marriage that they never expected to encounter. As the Speeds began to counsel these young couples, they thought of how much heartache and damage could have been avoided if only these couples had learned certain truths BEFORE they married and not after. Thus, the idea of “WIT for Singles” was born!

“Whatever It Takes!” Singles Conference promises to be a life-changing, world-altering weekend! We will dig deep into our hearts and souls to expose all the hidden lies and strongholds that have kept us from becoming the person God has created us to be. The goal of this conference is to help you identify the areas of your life that need God’s wisdom and understanding applied to them. Not only will it prepare you for marriage, but it will prepare you for Life! You, by the grace of God, will never be the same!

Conference topics include:

  • Love God, Live Life!
  • Openness and brokenness
  • Exposing lies that shape your thinking
  • So, who is your “real” enemy?
  • How to throw your bags overboard!
  • Hanging on when you should be letting go!
  • Moral purity in an immoral world
  • How do you find Mr. or Mrs. Right when everything is wrong?
  • …and much more!

Attendees must be 18 years of age or older.

Click here to download current conference flyer.

Click here for our Welcome Detail Letter for Attendees

Singles Conference Details

Dates:
July 11th-14th, 2013

Price: $189
For airport shuttle round trip – add $30.00
Extra nights are available for $25 per night(paid to Verity)

Location:
Verity Institute
Indianapolis, IN.

Click here to Register

Speakers:
During the past several years, Paul and Jenny Speed have had the joy of speaking to thousands of young people across America. They have helped many of these young people find freedom in their lives and a deeper love for God. The Speeds hearts’ desire is to equip young people by giving them the tools they need to walk in freedom and truth, and to empower them to be world changers! Out of this desire “WIT for Singles” was born!

Testimonies:

“I came here blaming so many people for my anger and bitterness and now realize my need for personal responsibility. I have realized that the very people I have blamed are the ones I need to ask forgiveness from.”

“I was blown away by the honesty! I expected to meet all these “perfect” people who were holier than thou and was surprised to see people being so real and transparent.”

“I came here knowing that there were things in my life that I needed to take care of.  I’m ready to go home and confess.  I hate my sin!”

“Praise Jesus for all the ways I have found freedom and growth through this weekend.”

“I have learned this week that I must be 100% open and broken to have victory. WIT has changed my life forever! You guys rock!”

“Thank you for investing in my sons this past weekend. You guys are awesome!!!
All three were so grateful to have a place to go where Christ is glorified and practical help in solving sin issues was the norm. Thank you so much for being real and relatable.”

“I want to thank you for sacrificing your time and energy to do the singles conference! My life truly has changed from living in bondage of fear and unbelief which was the root of a lot of other sin in my life. I am AMAZED over and over at God’s amazing grace and how ‘my chains are gone and I’m set free. My God my God He ransomed me, and like a flood His mercies reigns, unending love, AMAZING grace! He is Forever mine!!!!’”

“I just wanted to say THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!! I attended the Singles Conference this past weekend and was blessed VERY much by it. :) It was definitely life-changing!”

“This weekend was way more than I expected. God showed me so much about how to identify and break the chains of bondage and lies. It was a HUGE encouragement to meet other singles my age who share the same beliefs and values regarding Christ and relationships! Sometimes it feels like I’m the only one, but now I know there are many more of like faith and we are continuing to keep in touch and support each other. Thank you, Paul and Jenny, for teaching us so much and bringing us together!

OPEN BROKEN FREE

OPEN, BROKEN, FREE – the three words used to best describe WIT! Singles, Four Days to Freedom, and the Whatever It Takes! Ministries in general, all started through the awesome willingness of Paul and Jenny Speed to share their testimony with the world.

In a nutshell:

OPEN: Baring the utter depths of your sinful soul to the people closest to you.  As a married person, that means your husband or wife and children.  As a single that means your parents or the main authorities in your life.  It also means going to each person you have offended by your sin, to the best of your ability, and asking his or her forgiveness. There’s a lot more to it, but that’s the basic premise.

BROKEN: Taking full responsibility for your sin and the damage it has caused – no matter what, no matter how long, no matter how much it hurts.  When I first “came clean” with my wife, family, authorities, and people affected by my sin, I looked like a really good guy and received a lot of praise for my willingness to be open and ask forgiveness.  I wasn’t even close to being truly broken, and sank back down into hidden sin within months of confessing all.  It took getting caught again and Jenny Speed speaking the stark truth into my life before I really started on the path to brokenness.  Being truly broken means doing God’s will and not your own, through the power of His grace.  Again, lots more to it, but that’s a start.

FREE: The glorious realization that I am no longer held in bondage by Satan because there is no longer any hidden sin in my life.  Satan has absolutely no hook in me.  What is he going to say?  “If you don’t do what I say, I’ll tell your wife your deepest, darkest, most hideous sin…”  My response?  “Too late, Satan – I already told her!”  How about, “I’ll tell your friends and co-workers what a rotten person you really are.”  “Go ahead, Satan – I’ve already told most of them, and I really don’t care who knows.  It will give me an opportunity to share the freedom I have in Jesus Christ.”  True freedom is precious, beautiful, and wonderful!  I can ask my wife for prayer at any time for anything, and she will battle with me rather than condemning me, because she trusts me.  How many people can say that?!?

OPEN, BROKEN, FREE – the only way to live!

May the Peace and Love of Christ fill your life,

George

Calling all singles

If you are single, you need to attend this conference…

WIT! Singles

Singles Conference Overview

A Life-Changing Conference for Singles!

During the past several years, Paul and Jenny have had the joy of speaking to thousands of young people across America. They have watched as many of these same young people find “Mr.” or “Miss Perfect”, but are soon sitting before them in tears, disbelief, and hurt. They are searching for answers to issues they are facing in their marriage that they never expected to encounter. As the Speeds began to counsel these young couples, they thought of how much heartache and damage could have been avoided if only these couples had learned certain truths BEFORE they married and not after. Thus, the idea of “WIT for Singles” was born!

“Whatever It Takes!” Singles Conference promises to be a life-changing, world-altering weekend! We will dig deep into our hearts and souls to expose all the hidden lies and strongholds that have kept us from becoming the person God has created us to be. The goal of this conference is to help you identify the areas of your life that need God’s wisdom and understanding applied to them. Not only will it prepare you for marriage, but it will prepare you for Life! You, by the grace of God, will never be the same!

Conference topics include:

  • Love God, Live Life!
  • Openness and brokenness
  • Exposing lies that shape your thinking
  • So, who is your “real” enemy?
  • How to throw your bags overboard!
  • Hanging on when you should be letting go!
  • Moral purity in an immoral world
  • How do you find Mr. or Mrs. Right when everything is wrong?
  • …and much more!

Attendees must be 18 years of age or older.

This is from three years ago after the WIT! Singles conference in Indianapolis. I love what Sara has to say!

DSC_0005Wow – what a weekend! I’m tired and drained! In some respects, I wish I can say that the three day single’s conference in Indianapolis was filled with praise and encouragement and joy alone but it wasn’t. Now please don’t get me wrong, it was an encouragement to my heart and soul but God used it in a whole different way than I would have ever anticipated.

We arrived Thursday afternoon after a great time of fellowship in the car with a few friends. We sang, talked, laughed, shared a good meal, and even made a stop at a dairy farm for some homemade ice cream. That was an experience! While we were there , some of us decided to stop by the birthing barn. Oh dear! Talk about a shock of a lifetime – haha! I can’t believe I sat there and watched a calf be born. I’m not…

View original post 947 more words

A Key to Walking in brokenness

I was reading Galatians 6 this morning, and verse 3 leaped out at me: “For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.”

It is in the context of exhorting each other as Christians, bearing each other’s burdens to fulfill the law of Christ, but also follows shortly after a warning to keep watch on yourself that you not fall into temptation while restoring others.

This verse encapsulates something which has been the major factor in rejuvenating my marriage relationship with Marla, and which has been the primary reason I have seen other marriages completely fall apart even after the couples have learned the principles of Openness and Brokenness at a Whatever It Takes! conference.  Now, even seven years after I first came clean with my wife regarding the hidden sin in my life and started on the path to true brokenness, I truly do not consider myself worthy of her forgiveness.  When I do something that triggers an old hurt or memory, or when I see her feeling the pain from my years of infidelity, I never (to the best of my knowledge) respond with, “You said you forgave me years ago – can’t you just forget it?” Instead, I remind myself once again that her pain, her reaction, is rooted in my sin, and that it is only by the grace of God that Marla is still my wife and truly loves me more than ever.  Sin has consequences, and even after forgiveness the consequences continue.  If I had contracted AIDS from a prostitute, I might have received forgiveness, but the consequence would be an ongoing, devastating reminder of my sin.

All too often when I talk to a man who is trying to restore a marriage after either confessing or getting caught in his moral failure I hear something like, “Why can’t she just forgive me?  She keeps bringing it up!”  First off, that’s not a question a man walking in brokenness would ask.  Instead, the broken response is to take responsibility for her pain/anger/depression/whatever, pray with her, and look for ways to love her as Christ loved the church.  Unbroken men have asked me things like, “How much dirt do I need to let her pile on top of me?!?”  My response is, “How much abuse did Jesus Christ allow to be heaped on His head to pay the price for our sins?”  Jesus loved us by taking full responsibility for all of our sins, even though He had done absolutely nothing wrong.  There have been glorious times when I have taken responsibility for a pain point in Marla’s life, and she has actually blessed me by saying, “No, that’s not your fault!”

If you truly want to walk in brokenness, get rid of the idea that you deserve anything other than DEATH! Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” No one owes you forgiveness – it is a gift by God’s grace.  You can’t demand it, or even expect it. “But,” you say, “the Bible teaches that as a Christian she needs to forgive me, not seven times but seventy times seven times.”  True.  But That’s between your wife and God – if you throw that scripture up in her face, you are taking the place of a holy, perfect God instead of loving her.  If you are truly walking in brokenness, there are very few women who can resist giving you the forgiveness you don’t deserve. Once again, you deserve to suffer the consequences of your sin, you deserve to have your wife leave you to mope about in your miserable, prideful existence, and any kindness or forgiveness you receive should be viewed as a blessing.

I know without a shadow of a doubt that if I were to start expecting Marla to forgive me, and to forget the pain I have caused in her life, that our marriage would cease to exist.  We might still live in the same house, but there would be no marriage.  As an aside, forgiveness does not include forgetting anything. The Bible says that we will be called into account for every idle word we have spoken.  God doesn’t forget anything – He chooses not to remember. So, how much less can my wife forget my sins?

Ponder Galatians 6:3.  Do you think you are something?  A big man (or woman – I speak in biblical terms) who has been gracious enough to dump a load of garbage on his wife by confessing all his hidden sin, then walked away and thought himself open and broken while she suffocates under the pile of junk you dropped on her? If so, and you truly think you deserve forgiveness, and to have all things just put aside, then you are deceiving yourself.  Man up, take responsibility, and realize that you will be dealing with consequences for the rest of your life!  If it is less time than that, then be blessed, but never, ever, expect the consequences to just go away.

May the peace, joy, and love of Christ abound in your life!

George

A Short Story

Here is a short story from a few months ago, another of my emails.  Hopefully it demonstrates that it is possible to come back from a marriage on the brink of total destruction to having a relationship with my wife where she trusts me, encourages me, and is at peace:

Anyway, I’ve been teaching a class here in Bogotá, Colombia this past week, for those who are new to the list.  My class consists of 7 men and one woman from around Central and South America.  The woman is from El Salvador, a country I visited for a few weeks in ’86, so I am quite familiar with the customs there.

The last day of class, after the exam was over, and everyone was leaving, she came up and gave me the customary “handshake” of El Salvador between a man and a woman which is a kiss on one cheek.  I didn’t think much of it, and my automatic response was the same as it was in ’86.  She kissed all the other guys in the room, too.

That night I sent Marla an email telling her I had to laugh at myself for my still-automatic response.  She didn’t respond, but she was at the WIT women’s conference, so I didn’t expect her to.

The next day, Satan really started in with his whisperings of, “You know, you really shouldn’t have done that.  You know Marla’s upset, and that’s why she’s not responded to your email.  You know you can’t contact her now and ask, or ask her for prayer – that will thoroughly ruin the women’s conference for her…”

I knew it was the enemy, because that’s not the type of conviction the Holy Spirit brings upon me, and not what He says, trying to discourage me from talking to Marla about it.  Since I didn’t have a way to call her at the conference, I sent her an email telling her of the attack I was under.  She texted me back saying, “Stop thinking about it.  No biggie.”  The whisperings of the enemy stopped immediately!

Next day (today) Satan started a different tack.  He started telling me, “Well, sure, Marla said, ‘No biggie’, but she didn’t know what the woman was wearing.  You didn’t give her all the details.  You know you’re supposed to give the details, and you know if you did she’d be really upset…”

So, tonight after Marla got home from the conference, we got on Skype to talk for the first time in over a week, and I gave her the details…how the woman had chosen to wear a shirt that hung way down off one shoulder that day, how I had been avoiding that side of her while teaching and answering her questions about the exam.  Marla basically cut it short to tell me it didn’t matter what the woman was wearing or what she did – she (Marla) is totally at peace with it.  I was then able to turn around and tell Satan, with the authority of Marla’s confirmation, “You are a liar!”  and once again the attack of lies was gone.

Gentlemen, this is a small example of how my openness and my willingness to talk to Marla about anything, no matter how insignificant it may seem to others, has brought her to the point of fully trusting me again.  It’s been a long road, but I praise God for the work He’s done in our lives and our marriage.

Marla is my best friend and my first person to turn to for prayer and counsel.  She’s not an afterthought.  I don’t hit her with every intruding thought, but I definitely go to her as my battle partner when I can’t just dismiss something, and it becomes a fight.

I hope this helps someone.  Pass it around to whomever you like, if you think it will help someone else.

God bless and keep you all!

George