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Larry’s Health Update

Hi Friend,

It’s time to give you a personal update on my health. Many of you have warmly inquired about how I’m doing with two kinds of cancer, leukemia and gastrinoma. And more than a few have understandably wanted to know the likelihood that the two upcoming Schools of Spiritual Direction (April and June) and the one NextStep School (June) will be cancelled. Your concern warrants a response.

Leukemia is now in total remission. Further chemo through May, on a month-on/month-off schedule, reduces the possibility of its return to nearly zero. No NewWay event is scheduled during my treatment. And the lesions on my liver (gastrinoma) are tiny enough that they cause no symptoms. Plans are to undergo a relatively noninvasive procedure later this summer that will shrink the lesions for at least 10 years.

Of course I can’t give a 100% guarantee that the schools will be held. But my doctor agrees I can give a 99% guarantee. It’s more likely a car accident will cause a cancellation. I fully expect to lead all 3 events as fully as I have in the past. If Christ returns, we’ll all be glad to skip the events. I hope to see you at either the April SSD, the June SSD, or the June NextStep. It’s looking good.


Proof It Is Possible To Finish Well

“Without the example of those who have gone before, proving it is possible to finish well, to tremble when God’s ways make no sense and yet to steadfastly trust that His ways are good, the temptation to resist and run or distort and deny would be far more difficult to withstand.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, When God’s Ways Make No Sense, “The Consolable Longing,” pg 159

Questions for Reflection:
• Who are the believers that have re-focused your hope and strengthened your faith when times were hard?
• Who around you is being impacted today by the choices you are making, whether you tremble and trust, resist and run, or distort and deny?
• What kind of legacy do you have the opportunity to build today?

A Stubborn Sense Of Entitlement

“Too often our version of trusting God carries with it an expectation of what God should do. We are, of course, to trust God to do all that He tells us in the Bible He will do. But this is where we sometimes get off-track. Without noticing it, we tend to trust God to do what we think a loving God ought to do. An honest look at what we mean when we use the word trust would likely turn up a subtle demand, a stubborn sense of entitlement to whatever good things we’d like God to give us.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, When God’s Ways Make No Sense, “Why Must We Tremble in Order to Trust?” pg 84

Questions for Reflection:
• Can you think of a time when you made an assumption about how God “should” answer your prayers, only to be frustrated or disillusioned when He didn’t intervene as you expected?
• What shaped your unfulfilled expectation?
• What was the impact on the way you related to God in the aftermath?
• Ask God to show you any ways that your relationship with Him is still being shaped more by that aftermath or by the filters of demand that you put on Scripture rather than by what He has revealed of Himself in His Word.

Cooperating With The Spirit

“Plenty of Scripture supports our praying for tangible blessings, relieved suffering, and a sense of well-being. It’s okay to hurt, and it’s okay to pray for blessings, and it’s okay to be happy when blessings come. But it’s not okay to ground our anchoring joy in the Better Life of Blessings.

When trouble comes, our first thing focus must be on entering God’s presence (encounter), participating with others on the journey to God (community), and cooperating with the Spirit in forming Christ in us (transformation).”

Dr. Larry Crabb, The Pressure’s Off, “First Thing Focus,” pg 186

Questions for Reflection:
• How would you characterize your recent conversations with God?
• Which of the responses – encountering God, community with others, or transformation in response to the Spirit – tends to come most easily for you?
• Which is most difficult for you, and why?
• Be intentional today about entering God’s presence, engaging others in spiritual companionship, and responding to the Spirit’s invitation to change the way you relate.

The Relational Beauty Of The Divine Community

“…We do need to see God’s story most fully made known in the life and death of Jesus in order to engage in the battle for a better love. You can know you have glimpsed the truest love story ever told when you are awed by what you see. Nothing compares with the relational beauty of the divine community, a beauty put on display for us to see how God relates to the self-centered rebels we’ve all become.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, A Different Kind of Happiness, “A Tale of Two Stories,” pg 131

Questions for Reflection:
• As you consider your life right now, are you allowing your perspective regarding it to be shaped by your circumstances, whether happy or difficult?
• How does the way you relate change when your vision is shaped by the truth Jesus’ life and death revealed about His own relationship with His Father?
• Take some time this week to read the Gospels, asking the Holy Spirit to reveal Jesus more clearly to you and through you.

What Stands In Your Way?

“Walk the narrow road. Live the larger story. Battle for a better love. It’s why we’re alive.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, A Different Kind of Happiness, “Life: Above and Under the Sun,” pg 233

Questions for Reflection:
• What stands in the way today of living out your purpose?
• Is it a resistance to embracing the narrow road?
• Are you demanding a larger role instead of trusting the larger story?
• Are you fighting for your own comfort or to defend your fears instead of battling for a better love?
• Who needs you to stand against evil on their behalf today?
• To what repentance are you being invited, in order to find the fullness of life for which you were created and that Jesus offers?

My Son Has Set You Free

“Gospel freedom means to neither indulge your whims or keep My rules. Whim-indulgers and rule-keepers are slaves to the corruption within them that demands a kind of satisfaction My Son will not provide for you in this life. My Son has set you free to love, to believe I am good and that the good story I am telling is unfolding under His control.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, 66 Love Letters, “Love Letter Forty-Eight: Galatians,” pg 259

Questions for Reflection:
• Have you considered that rule-keepers and whim-indulgers are both enslaved to themselves?
• What desire has so captured your attention lately that you find it difficult to see the needs of those around you?
• Take some time to re-focus on what it means to share in the life of Christ in the story that God is telling.