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50 Responses

  1. Captain Kevin says:

    “Somewhere in my top five goals in life is “being left alone”.” Wow…I can SO relate!! Pray for me to even WANT to repent. Right now, I’m just not there.

  2. Michael says:


    I’m not much closer than you… 🙂

  3. Paige says:

    I’m right there with you and Greta Garbo “I just VON to be alone”.

    Not really, but yes, really. Sometimes.

    Wish I could have be a practical source of help this week for you, but of course, you wouldn’t accept.

    Truly, it IS more blessed to give than to receive. 😀 Strength feels better than weakness.

  4. Michael says:

    Yes, it does…even when the strength is an illusion. 🙂

  5. Ixtlan says:

    Well written and well received.

  6. Michael says:

    Thanks, Ixtlan…I would have preferred something about the cat. 🙂

  7. Josh the Baptist says:

    I think I am testing the limits of God’s grace.

  8. Michael says:


    There is no limit…

  9. Josh the Baptist says:

    I’ll let you know if I find it. 🙂

  10. Michael says:


    If you find it, I don’t want to know…

  11. Josh the Baptist says:

    I feel like one day He is just gonna look at me and be like, “Just give it up already”.

    Trying to learn and believe that He really does love me, and that nothing could stop Him from loving me.

  12. Michael says:


    What makes you feel that way?

  13. Josh the Baptist says:

    Constant sin. Purposeful, awful, unrepentant sin.

  14. Jean says:

    He absolutely does love you.

  15. Michael says:


    I hear you…that’s why it’s necessary for me that Romans 7 is about believers…

  16. Josh the Baptist says:

    %Thank you Jean and Michael. I am trying to learn it.

  17. JoelG says:

    #13 – Welcome to the club Josh

  18. Michael says:


    The reason I write these is so people can say to themselves that if God loves an ass like Michael, then He will have no problem loving an ass like me. 🙂

    He loves…not because we’re good, but because Jesus is.

  19. Michael says:


    The key is looking outside ourselves…and seeing Who we are “in”…

  20. CostcoCal says:

    # 18….. Beautiful! In fact, the whole article.

  21. Michael says:

    Thank you, CC…

  22. Jean says:

    I can guarantee you that every single one of us has unrepentant sin. A Christian who grows in grace, at the same times grows in the knowledge of just how much of a sinner he/she is. An nominal Christian may barely acknowledge even being a sinner.

    If anyone thinks he/she has no unrepentant sin, re-read the Sermon on the Mount.

    Give your sin to Jesus, pray for his forgiveness and mercy, and see how he will heal you. He will heal you!

  23. JoelG says:

    #19 – Indeed. I sure hope Romans 7 is for believers. Otherwise we’re all screwed.

    Thank you for always pointing to us to Christ, Michael.

  24. JoelG says:

    Amen Jean

  25. Michael says:


    The highlight of my week is receiving the cup and pronouncing forgiveness in Jesus name.
    We need to be reminded constantly…

  26. Em says:

    reading this reminds me of a couple of things – the cat doesn’t feel good and wants to be left alone… is there an I.Q. test for cats? sometimes it IS good to be left alone to heal… sometimes

    the other is the memory i have of my grandmother – she wouldn’t ask you if she could be of help; she’d know what to do and do it and then get out of the way… we need more of those ladies as most of us just don’t know what to do

    i wish that i could march in and say, “here’s a cup of hot soup and a warm washcloth – deal with it!” 🙂

    perhaps our fear is greater that we’ll be offensive than it is that we’ll leave someone in need? dunno

    please take care, go slow and heal, Michael … you don’t want to leave everyone feeling guilty now

  27. Michael says:


    I’m doing ok…just a bit sore and a bit chastened.

  28. London says:

    I can relate.
    However, I think part of my wanting to just do things myself is the fear that if I accept help, people will let me down, or make it more difficult than just doing it myself, thus adding to the level of effort required to get through whatever it is.

  29. JoelG says:

    Amen Michael. the Lords Supper is a means of Grace…. a reminder that the civil war inside ourselves has been won by Christ.

  30. Michael says:


    I hear you on those points.
    I’ve never wanted anyone at the hospital with me because I want to spend all my energy getting the hell out of the hospital.
    I don’t want to worry about anyone else at those times.

    However, I must confess that I also have a selfishness that is made worse by my own introversion.

  31. Jean says:

    Grab some tissues and listen to this:

  32. Mr Jesperson says:

    I like your post Michael. I too am a introvert and I do not feel guilty about it. It has its plus side too, I seek God with a passion that extroverts do not understand. Introvert/extrovert is not the issue, it is what you do with your time. Sometimes that is good and sometimes bad for me. I do not see it any different for extroverts. Their good and sins are just different than mine. I like it when on a blog like this you post an introspective post like this one. I suspect that many commenters on watchdog blogs spend too much time arguing over questionable subjects. I strongly suspect that much of the time everyone including myself is just wrong not seeing things or speaking clearly from God’s actual point of view. Time to look in the mirror and find some humility again…

  33. Michael says:

    Thank you, Mr. Jesperson…you never know what you’ll get here. 🙂

  34. Papias says:

    “When introverts go to church, we crave sanctuary in every sense of the word, as we flee from the disorienting distractions of twenty-first-century life. We desire to escape from superficial relationships, trivial communications and the constant noise that pervade our world, and find rest in the probing depths of God’s love.”
    ― Adam S. McHugh, Introverts in the Church: Finding Our Place in an Extroverted Culture

  35. The Dude says:

    As a fellow introvert I can agree with your post.Thanks for the book referral.

  36. Cash says:

    I need to repent.

    It will be difficult as I will have to ask God for the grace to do so.

    I so love that God’s grace is so complete that He even gives us the grace to change our hearts when our hearts aren’t right. He doesn’t say, “Come back when your heart is right.” He says, “I will make your heart right.” He’s got everything covered. What an amazing and wonderful God we serve.

  37. Erunner says:

    “For grace to do all it’s work it must be received as well as given, not just from God, but from other people.”

    Michael, this is the theme of my life currently. Going through life believing deep in your heart that you have been disqualified from receiving God’s grace shakes one up a bit. But that’s where I’m at because I tried to live this life by my reason, largely based on feelings that never arrived.

    I’m reading a lot about David now and have been trying to glean what I can from the 51st Psalm.

    I will continue to pray for you Michael. Your Friday posts are invaluable and to think I used to skip them! Thank you so much.

  38. Michael says:


    You nailed it…well done.

  39. Michael says:


    I solved all the issues of life in the ones you skipped… 🙂

    Thank you for your prayers and your faithful friendship over the years.

  40. Pete says:

    “Grace”… we will have an eternity to understand it.

  41. Nonnie says:

    “Friendship … is born at the moment when one man says to another “What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . .”

    ― C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

  42. Paige says:

    Nonnie, amazing quote…… thank you.

    Erunner, “Going through life believing deep in your heart that you have been disqualified from receiving God’s grace shakes one up a bit. But that’s where I’m at because I tried to live this life by my reason, largely based on feelings that never arrived.”

    Incredible. “What! You too?”

    While I just VON to be alone, I surely do not want to be the only one with these thoughts or feelings….

    Thank you, friends.

  43. Xenia says:

    I can tell you why I don’t always want to accept help. In my world, I see myself as the helpful person, the lady that no one can do without. Does something need done? Ask me, I can do better than anyone else. So when someone wants to help me, that wrecks my view of myself as the one who can do anything. Since this is the absolute opposite of the humility the Lord expects of each of us, you can see I have a real problem.

  44. Xenia says:

    *I* am Lady Bountiful and you want to give me something or help me, that diminishes my view of myself as The Most Helpful Person in Town.

  45. Michael says:


    I can relate more than just a bit…

  46. Filbertz says:

    Grace isnt shackled by our limitations any more than water is captured by a net. It moves through us regardless and purifies and transforms in the process.

  47. Em says:

    #46 is beautiful… but i wonder if it would be more precise to say that grace (God’s) is the means by which the Holy Spirit moves to purify and transform?
    thinking… thinking… faith, grace, new birth, powerful manifestations of God’s faithfulness and love…
    love the comments that feed my soul here on the Phoenix Preacher
    to take poetic liberty myself, God intended that we be butterflies, not worms

  48. Randy says:

    I hope I am not being too bold in this. I have been thinking about this conversation for some days now. I think we might see the awareness of our sin as a good thing. It points to the fact that the Holy Spirit is at work in all of us. Why should we care if we are sinful, unless we are among the redeemed? It is sanctification in progress that makes us acutely aware of our sinfulness in the present. As sinners redeemed by grace, we want to be like the One who redeemed us. I take it that this is a life long process and the older or more mature we become, the more aware that we are sinners. So, in that sense, I think we are making progress.

    We can’t confuse our justification (imputed righteousness) with our sanctification. And we must understand that our sanctification makes us long for heaven, for that time when we are transformed into something like Christ, someone who can stand in the presence of our Holy Father and see him face to face. I think that is what I long for. What we have now is just the tip of the iceberg. The Holy Spirit is our seal and our down payment of something that I don’t think I fully understand. Our sanctification, no matter how long, will not get us there I don’t think. I think glorification, much like justification, is imputed. In that brief moment, we will be changed from sinner to glory. “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” (2 Cor. 3:18 ESV)

    I think we are acutely aware that we are sinners, and one day will will be transformed. In that day we will put on our party clothes, and as Lewis said, the term will be over and the holiday will begin.

  49. Michael says:

    Well said, Randy…

  50. Em says:

    AMEN, Randy

    “The Holy Spirit is our seal and our down payment of something that I don’t think I fully understand. Our sanctification, no matter how long, will not get us there I don’t think. I think glorification, much like justification, is imputed. In that brief moment, we will be changed from sinner to glory.”

    not fully understood, but worth repeating IMHO 🙂

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