Are you keeping it real or laying it on thick?
The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in men who are truthful. Prov. 12:22
by Toni Birdsong
Let’s just call it what it is: cajolery, flattery, smooth talk, snowing, buttering up, or just good ol’ brown nosing. The truth remains that insincerity (however unintentional) is part of the verbal currency of the digital landscape. And while flattering words can win you friends and fans online, this kind of daily digital banter can be risky business for a Christ follower.
While exaggeration has been part of social hierarchies since the beginning of time, it paints a spiritually destructive layer of duplicity over our hearts. It’s often easy to rationalize the amplification of the truth but, by definition, exaggeration really is lying . . .
Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart. Psalm 51:6, ESV
by Tami Heim
In the conversations at The Cove, with Ruth Graham and other Christian leaders last week, thoughts, ideas, and insights further defined transparency. Some ideas were super sticky—they held fast, adhered to, and clung to our hearts. Today, we’re sharing 20 of those sticky quotes with you. Here we go…
1. When we speak the truth about us we give others permission to do the same. – Ruth Graham, ministry leader
2. Churches must become places where people can deal with their sin and pain. – Ruth Graham, ministry leader
3. When Jesus came, He shocked, surprised and exposed the system. Are we not called to do the same? - Tim Green, Dean of Religion, Travecca Nazarene Universty
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. ~ Psalm 34:18, NIV
by Tami Heim
Paul Tripp’s mission is connecting people to the transforming power of Jesus Christ in everyday life. He’s definitely a sticky pastor—he keeps it real and isn’t one to compromise the message he’s been given. Because of that he’s leading for Christ and making a difference that lasts.
A ministry president, Presbyterian pastor, and seminary professor Paul speaks and preaches around the world. He’s written ten books and his passion for culture, transparency, the church, and pastors are just a few of the reasons Ruth Graham invited Paul to The Cove, in Ashville, North Carolina for a recent mindstorming session on transparency. You don’t want to miss this . . .
Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven. - Luke 6:7
Going through the motions doesn’t please you, a flawless performance is nothing to you. I learned God-worship when my pride was shattered. Heart-shattered lives ready for love don’t for a moment escape God’s notice. ~ Psalm 51:17, The Message
by Tami Heim
John Bishop, pastor of Living Hope Church in Vancouver, Washington, spoke at Ruth Graham’s gathering at The Cove, in Ashville, North Carolina last week. During a 2-day intensive on transparency that included diverse minds from around the country, John shared what it means to be a living example of transparency and what Ruth Graham calls outrageous grace.
You see, Living Hope Church was the first mega church to invite Ted and Gail Haggard to speak after their return to full-time ministry following a very public scandal. John transported us back to that day at his church and shared how God moved. It just so happened, Ted Haggard was sitting in the audience at the Cove while John spoke, which amplified the humanity of the moment. Here’s a video that recaps that outrageous grace-filled day at Living Hope Church. You really don’t want to miss this . . .
For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. – Romans 7:15, NIV
by Tami Heim
There’s a tension in the body of Christ around words like confession, transparent, holiness, acceptance, grace, and forgiveness. Passions easily ignite when these words arise among believers. Core beliefs and life experience determine how each word ranks in the conversation and how deep that conversation will go. As we engage a needful world in increasingly public ways the question becomes even more imperative: Is transparency in the Church really possible?