January 2013

I am speaking in two Sundays at Redeemer Life Church in Vernon Hills. I am using these images to inspire me. I’ll write more about this in a future blog. Pray for God’s creative illumination upon me these next couple weeks. thanks




Like the Holy Spirit, Jon Warden comes alongside the broken-hearted and takes down our defensive and unhealthy thoughts that hinder us from recognizing Jesus Christ’s work in us. As insightful as it is applicable, Resisting Grace teaches us how to examine our hearts and work with, not against, the Holy Spirit. A book to be read, shared, and read again and again as we grow and mature.
Joelle Hong
Lawyer, Mother

Psalm 42:7 says, “Deep calls unto deep.”

One of my favorite old time theologians is Watchman Nee. He commented on this Psalm saying, “Only a call from the depths can provoke a response from the depths. Nothing shallow can ever touch the depths, nor can anything superficial touch the inward parts. Only the deep will respond to the deep.”

I am starting a new men’s group focusing on Redeeming our faith, culture and manhood. I have loved doing this group. Men who have gone through this group are very dear to my heart. The first forty days are of deep introspection where the men examine their relationships to family of origin, the major culture they live in, the culture of their heritage, women, other men, themselves and God. It is a forty day introspective spiritual boot camp. I challenge them to stick with it and go deep. We don’t live in a world that relates to one another deeply. Not even in the church sad to say. It is uncomfortable and threatening to be vulnerable. These forty days also uses spiritual/emotional/mental muscles we are not use to. I give much grace to the men as they start up but I keep the challenge on top of them. If you don’t go deep, you’re not going to get very far.

I ask them to answer this question before one another: How do you feel about getting so naked before these men? The challenge is to get real. The equation I set before them is Real Men + Real God = Real Life.
I end with the study of the man with the withered hand in Mark 3. Jesus said two things to him: “Rise and come forward” and “stretch out your hand”. Pretty much put it out there dude.

The process of Jesus meeting our needs through grace is:

He unpacked our woundedness…be brave and open yourself
He exposes our compromised solutions… be brave and surrender
He meets our needs in deeper ways… be brave and go deep
He provides support and accountability…be brave and get help

Receive his grace or resist it. That’s what we do.

Understanding grace is a life-long journey where we too often settle for simple directions. Instead, Resisting Grace offers a high-definition map that powerfully combines scriptural truths with the moving personal testimony of the author. His struggle to understand the Father’s grace in his own challenging life and in his ministry as a professional counselor brings greater dimensionality and real feelings to our grace journey reading this book.

Gregory Yee
Associate Superintendent
Pacific Southwest Conference of the Evangelical Covenant Church

After a conversation with a gentleman from my home church it got me thinking. He asked me how’s my lungs. I told him how there has been improvement because I haven’t had any set backs for 18 months or so. He told me he asked because he hasn’t heard my cough in service this winter, Apparently, my cough is distinctive enough (and loud enough) to be recognized. It was such an unexpected affirmation and encouragement. My lungs has suffered many a rough winters. Over fifteen winters have past since half my lungs scarred up from my connective tissue disorder. And winters have been the hardest. For ways I cannot in any means understand, grace has been granted for this season of my journey. I am grateful.
Reflecting on this moment (actually while I was in the shower) what came to me was that grace is unpredictable but totally reliable. I can’t put God’s work of grace in my life into a box or a formula for my desired outcome. It is completely mysterious. It does not guarantee that my body will hold up. No more than it guarantee someone a spouse or a nice paying job or a trouble free life. Saints with more faith than you or I have lived with broken bodies, singleness, poverty and great travail. What they knew though is that grace was there in their brokenness, loneliness, hunger and pain. Sometimes there appears relief in those areas. That is grace. But many times grace enters in rather than removes.
Though God’s grace is unpredictable, it is totally reliable. Growing in my relationship with the living God has shown me that I cannot know how grace will fall upon me. I just know that it will. Faith is my assurance in not what is seen but in whom I trust.
My old friend and I have had a long dialog that has covered several years on whether God is involved in the details of our lives, if at all. It is only in experiencing His Grace can we be assured. Not by the external signs of our lives but by the Spirit of God that works within us the knowledge of our connection with the Living God.
I am grateful for the improvements in my lungs but I am completely surrender to whatever His Grace gives and choose to rejoice always.

To twist a quote from the book, “this is the book people have been looking for; it is a book that can free them from that which bound them for years”, an incomplete understanding of God’s grace. Through his tours as pastor, academician, counselor and now as author, Jon empowers God’s people toward radical grace. Each page, personal thought and written line represents a God-inspired work or reference all brought together in one book. I can’t wait to share this book with friends.
AACF Campus Minister, author, ordained American Baptist minister, who best enjoys being wife to Bruce and mom to Chloe.

For all you digital readers. Find it on Amazon.

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