How Do We Define Success?

The following post was written by Pastor and Author Kurt Bubna.  Kurt wrote the book “Epic Grace” which I have reread several times and I find his regular posts on kurtbubna.com a true joy to read.  I encourage you to check out his website and his book Epic Grace which you can get HERE.

How Do You Define Success? By

 

SuccessIn our culture, we underrate failure and overrate success. In fact, I recently did an Amazon search for “how to succeed” and found 27,857 books listed. Seriously, that’s a lot of noise out there about success, but I fear too many insights about this issue have got it dead wrong. Frankly, a lot of pastors wrestle with this issue on a regular basis (myself included).

Several years ago, a middle-aged pastor named Tom came to me extremely discouraged. He told me, “I’ve spent my entire life trying to succeed at something . . . anything . . . but the golden ring is always just out of reach. No matter what I do, my church just won’t grow.”

I asked him an important question, “Tell me how you define success?” Without blinking, he rattled off a list of measurables and goals that “must be met” (his words) for him to feel accomplished as a pastor. Most of them had to do with attendance numbers and recognition by his peers.

I gently pushed back and responded, “What if success is different than you think? Is it possible you’ve been reaching for the wrong golden ring?” The look on his face was telling as I took just five minutes to redefine for him how God defines success.

How God defines success: read the rest of the article here

What Rejection Can Teach You

The following post was written by Pastor and Author Kurt Bubna.  Kurt wrote the book “Epic Grace” which I have reread several times and I find his regular posts on kurtbubna.com a true joy to read.  I encourage you to check out his website and his book Epic Grace which you can get HERE.

What Rejection Can Teach You, by Kurt Bubna.

I’ll never forget the Sunday years ago when a little old lady cornered me in our tiny church lobby. She didn’t say “good morning” or introduce herself. In fact, she immediately made it clear from her body language and facial expression that she was not happy! I had said something in my talk that pushed her buttons, and she was going to give this young arrogant pastor a tongue-lashing. By the time she finished, I was emotionally bleeding, and I went home that day ready to quit (again).

In my world, rejection rates right up there with having a root canal—it’s costly and painful. No one likes to be rebuked, unwanted or treated like gum stuck to a shoe. Regardless of our apparent warts and wrinkles, we all long to be loved and accepted. It’s a fundamental human need.

As a teaching pastor, every Sunday my congregation evaluates me. New attendees compare me to their previous pastor. Regular attenders measure the value of the current talk or series to the last one. Unchurched folks appraise me based on their favorite speaker or TV host (yikes!).

As an author and blogger, other writers often scrutinize what I produce, and my copy editor sometimes rips me to shreds. Then, of course, the readers leave their mark by buying or not buying my books or by liking or ignoring my posts. (I, for one, am grateful there’s no such thing as a “dislike” button on Facebook!)

Simply put, I live with rejection on a regular basis, and surprisingly, I’m fine with that reality. Yes, it’s still painful, but more importantly, rejection has taught me much.

The top 10 things I’ve learned about rejection:  read the rest here;

“I am a chosen son, a prince, and one who belongs to the Father.  He loves me.  He always has, and he always will.  We don’t deserve grace.  We can’t earn it.  We can’t buy it  or bargain for it.  All we can do is accept it and be changed by it into the image of his Son. That’s the story of God’s love in epic proportions!”

Epic Grace ~ Chronicles of a Recovering Idiot (Tyndale) by Kurt Bubna

 

 


God Loves You.
Always Has
Always Will!


 

“Have I fallen, strayed to far, to receive God’s grace?”

Falling Rain

Back in November I had the privilege to write a review on the book Epic Grace – Chronicles of a Recovering Idiot (Tyndale) by Kurt Bubna.  The books title couldn’t be any better, for it is, EPIC.  I have found myself time and time again, picking the book up and rereading the countless passages that I underlined back in November.  Since that time more underlining has been done.  More contemplating, more praying, and more importantly, a deeper understanding of God’s epic grace.

Since my first read of the book I have taken every opportunity to spread the word of this, in my words, life changing book.  A few months ago a co-worker overheard me talking about the book and approached me about the book when no one was around.  She asked about God’s grace.  She was concerned about her husband that had taken ill and was looking at a risky operation, a long hospital stay and recover.  Her concerns were also her husbands, “Have I fallen, strayed to far, to receive God’s grace?”  I told her I would get her the book and that both of them should read it.  Before the end of the day she told me that at lunchtime she ran over to the book store and bought the book.  She said that she couldn’t wait as her leave from work started that day.  For the next few weeks she would be by her husbands side as he took on the battle of his life.

That was weeks ago, fast forward to just a few days ago.  My co-worker is back to work, her husband is progressing better than expected.  She looks better herself, better than she had for a long time.  Her first words to me when she saw me, Thank you!”  I said for what?  “For the book, it helped us so much, more than you’ll ever know.”  She went on to tell me that while her husband was in the hospital she read the book to him everyday.  Cover to cover, and then again.  “We never understood God’s grace before.” she said.  “My husband was afraid that he had screwed up to much in his life to think God would want him back.  He was wrong.”  She said that the book helped them get through a very difficult and scary time.  The smile on her face said it all.

If you have doubts, questions, or want a better understanding of God’s Epic Grace, please, get the book.  You will not be disappointed.  If you know of someone that is struggling, get them the book.

GET THE BOOK HERE

“If we let him, God uses difficult people to mold us into his image.  They teach us patience.  They teach us how to die to ourselves, how to lay down our lives for the sake of another.  They teach us how to be more like Jesus.  They stretch us into far reaches of his epic grace.” Epic Grace – Chronicles of a Recovering Idiot (Tyndale) by Kurt Bubna

A Winter’s Tale (A poem of redemption)

This poem is just too good not to share with all of you.  It is written by Epic Grace – Chronicles of a Recovering Idiot (Tyndale) author Kurt Bubna.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

A Winter’s Tale (A poem of redemption)
photo courtesy KurtBubna.com

Born at the edge of winter’s tale
Lost in a life so splintered fell
Too deep the darkness ran to tell
Hard my heart began toward hell
What hope had I but You?

Wise too soon to earthly things
Eyes too open to what death brings
Bruised my heart became a sieve
Trapped the evil web was weaved
What path could lead to You?

But then You came and pursued me
A song
A sound
My heart beat free
A whisper now so very near
The end of what I knew was fear

Winters Tale Dark RoadMy twisted tapestry of life a crime
A brokenness far from sublime
Yet through the darkness Your light did shine
A touch
A healing
Your life now mine

For You
For me
For all to see
I live to live and to be free
The grace I’ve known a mystery
You have my heart and destiny

Now past the barrier that once was me
In step with You on bended knee
My hope secure
My liberty
My all
My God
You’ve rescued me!

God’s specialty: redemption, restoration and renewal! Find out why in Epic Grace – Chronicles of a Recovering Idiot (Tyndale) by Kurt bubna. Get it here: http://tinyurl.com/epicgrace

Epic Grace for a Monday Morning

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God never wastes anything—our strengths, our successes, or our mistakes. In this collection of true stories, Kurt Bubna, a self-confessed “recovering idiot,” chronicles his own honest, heartfelt, and often hilarious missteps along the path to grace.

The following is short excerpt from the book Epic Grace – Chronicles of a Recovering Idiot (Tyndale) by Kurt Bubna.

“What do suffering and perseverance have to do with grace?”
The short answer? Everything.
Typically, when we hear the word grace, we immediately connect it to sin. “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. . . .” And that’s good, ­because without question we all need the kind of grace that covers all our sin. But we also need God’s grace to sustain us in the midst of our struggles. In fact, much of the grace we experience happens in the context of suffering.
God’s gentle grace comforts us when we are deeply wounded.
His larger than life grace covers us when we are wrestling with hardship.
His empowering grace helps us to stay the course when the going gets tough.
And God’s epic grace shows us how to rise above our pain and circumstances with enduring hope and faith in him.
So what does God tell us to do in the midst of suffering? He urges us to persevere which is only possible by his grace.

Want to learn more about God’s epic grace? Then can get the book HERE.

Be a blessing today, Jay.