Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Living in a "Broken Down House"...

This is my first "Wisdom Wednesday" post, hosted by my friend Michelle, on her parenting blog.

Recently, the Dude went to a conference primarily for those in pastoral ministry. The speaker was Paul David Tripp. Now, it's not terribly often that he (the Dude) will wax exuberant about contemporary speakers and ministries, but in a phone call to me on his way home, he answered my question of "how was it?" with outstanding, really good, and a tremendous help.


Naturally, I went looking for Paul David Tripp on Twitter the next morning, because that tends to be the quickest way for me to connect with people and ministries these days. I learned that they were sharing excerpts of his new book "Broken Down House" in tweet-bunches, which I followed, opting to have the tweets sent to my phone so I could keep up.

The excerpts via Twitter started on Monday, and since my brain was still on overload from the last couple of weeks, I wasn't assimilating as much as I'd anticipated.

...until this morning.

When I stumbled out to the kitchen to start bread dough, turned on my phone, and read the latest batch, which hit me right between the eyes.

You see, I had a bad two days last week, and handled pretty much everything and everyone around me...badly. Even while I was wide awake and hating my sinful behavior in the process, I was so overwhelmed and consumed with my "needs" that I just. couldn't. stop.

I've spent the last few days praying, entreating God to help me get out of this ugly and destructive pattern. And He graciously sent these, in the form of SMS text messages, no less:

  • We always live out of a sense of identity. Who are you? The identity you give yourself largely defines your responses to difficulty
  • To live by grace, you need to stay very clear on who you are. Ch3 of BDHouse covers our 2 identities: sinner & child of grace
  • To recognize their existence and understand what it means to possess them both, together, is to see yourself as you truly are.
  • We all ignore our sin, forget our sinfulness, & overestimate our maturity. The biblical doctrine of sin reminds us of our neediness
  • Minimize the presence & power of remaining sin & you don’t seek help from God & others - you live more independently than God intends
  • 1st step to living productively in this fallen world: see we’re not as good as we thought, thus more needy & vulnerable than we imagine
  • Productive living in Christ’s kingdom is always rooted in a humble sense of personal neediness.
  • There will be a war in your heart between what the Bible says about you and what you would like to think is true about you.
  • My greatest problem isn’t external, environmental, and circumstantial. It’s internal, personal, and moral.
  • Yet I mostly want to blame family, neighbors, church, job, friends, boss, community, $$$, gov’t, traffic, Internet, society etc.
  • Only when I own the sadness of seeing myself accurately can I know the joyful grace God gives those who acknowledge their need

Good stuff.  And here is a description of the theme of "Broken Down House" on the Shepherd's Press website:

Sin has ravaged the house that God created. It sits slumped, disheveled and in pain, groaning for the restoration that can only be accomplished by the hands of him who built it in the first place. The good news is that the divine Builder will not relent until everything about his house is made new again. The bad news is that you and I are living right in the middle of the restoration process. We live each day in a house that is terribly broken, where nothing works exactly as intended. But Emmanuel lives here as well, and he is at work returning his house to its former beauty.

Isn't that beautiful? I hope you are encouraged...or possibly hit right between the eyes, as I was. Here is the complete excerpt from Chapter 3. (By the way, they're giving away a free, signed copy to 7 followers of @bdhouse!)


  1. Cool, Gina! Looks a book worth reading.

  2. Very excellent, Gina! We read his book about teenagers "Age of Opportunity" and were really challenged.
    "Productive living in Christ’s kingdom is always rooted in a humble sense of personal neediness"
    Now that is a powerful statement!