116 Refuge

We seek refuge in perfectionism to protect our self-esteem, self-worth, self-image and identity.  If we base identity on performance, we make ourselves vulnerable to pain and regret when our performance does not match our expectations.  By our perfectionism we seek to protect ourselves from pain, but instead we cause ourselves more pain.  We need to relinquish perfectionism to find a better refuge.  The Lord creates the best refuge.  Let’s trust Him rather than our own devises.

The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord; he is their stronghold in time of trouble.  The Lord helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him.  Psalm 37:39-40

Our relationship with the Lord depends on our performance, but rather on His unmerited love and favor.  “The Lord protects the simplehearted; when I was in great need, he saved me.”  (Psalm 116:6)  Viewed from perfectionism, that verse seems too good to be true.  We think that life is way too complex for us to be simplehearted.  We try to solve all our problems with our own wisdom rather than simply trusting the Lord.

To be simplehearted, we need to let go of our perfectionism and embrace the Lord’s goodness to us.  As the song says, “His love is amazing, steady and unchanging.”  It seems too good to be true.  Yet, we can receive it in faith.

Marguex gave me this thought:  When we belong in God, then we belong no matter where we are.  We may be excluded by some group at some point in time, but we still belong to God, and His opinion of us is the one that really matters.

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.  Psalm 46:1

Enjoying my Savior’s help and protection,

Noah Woodrich

Living for the glory of God by grace received through faith in the Messiah, the Word of God made flesh.

We have a dream & request prayer.


115 Loving

God is love  I John 4:8

We know this.  We heard it as children.  It’s perhaps the most quoted verse in the Bible.  We teach children the song, “Jesus loves me, this I know.”  We see buttons and stickers, bookmarks and greeting cards which all say some version of “God loves you.”  We have many reminders of God’s love.  Years ago, I told myself many times a day, “God loves me.”

Still, do we really get it?  Do we really understand how much He loves us?  We cannot possibly comprehend the depths of God’s love for us.  Yet, do we have some deep appreciation of His love?  Have we apprehended it?  Do we sing songs of joy knowing His love?  Or do we sing out of obligation, knowing that we should praise Him, after all He has done for us?  Does the love of God grip our hearts?

If not, then why not?

My idea on this is that we expect ourselves to earn God’s love, which only blocks us from receiving His love.  Earned love really is not love.  We cannot obligate God in any way, shape or form.  We minimize how truly loving God is when we claim any merit for it.  God loves us because His nature is to love.  We deserve His wrath.  He loves us despite of what we deserve, not because of it.  We can do nothing to earn His love.  He gives us His love.

Learning to receive God’s love is a process.  We need time and help to receive His love.  We need to give ourselves grace in the process.  Expecting ourselves to have it all figured out now only blocks our healing process.

Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies.  Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the great deep.  O Lord, you preserve both man and beast.  How priceless is your unfailing love!  Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings.  They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights.  For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.  Psalm 36:5-9

We need light to see God’s love.  We need a revelation of His love to awaken our hearts to it.

Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die.  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:  While we were still sinners Christ died for us.  Romans 5:7-8

God has shown us His love in sending His own Son to die for us.  What more could He do?  God loved us even when we were dead in sin.  We did nothing to earn it.  God loves because He is love.

Praying for revelation of His love in our hearts,

Noah Woodrich

Loving God and our spiritual family through grace received in faith,
imparting truth in presence and deed and word,

becoming like Messiah and leading others to walk alongside us
.


114 Giving

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.  James 1:17

God gives because of Who He is.  He formed creation out of nothing.  He breathed existence.  He gave His breath so we could live.

We turned our back on God, choosing rather to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil instead of from the tree of life.  We rejected God, but He did not forget us.  He devised the plan of salvation to bring us back to Himself.

God saved us through His Son (Romans 5:15-17).  Salvation is gift.  We can do nothing to earn it.  God invented and initiated it.  He gave us His Son, the Way to Himself.  He gave us new life in the Son and with Him in Heaven forever.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.  John 14:27

The world requires us to earn what we receive.  Our Lord does not operate under this rule.  He gives because it’s His nature.

The Son represents of the Father.  He shows us the loving and giving Father.  The Son willingly took up the cross and died for us.  He suffered so that we could live.  He let go of His rights so that He could redeem us with His Own blood.  He completely emptied Himself, enabling us to live in union with Him.  He gave all He could give—His very life—to benefit us.  Further, He had no guarantee of how we would respond.

We cannot wrap our minds around how truly giving God is.  He is not like us.  He is Other.

We wonder what we will get out of any transaction or relationship.  If we give something to someone, what are we going to get out of it?  God does not think like this.  He gives because He wants to give.  He offers us life not because He will derive some benefit, but because He wants to benefit us.  He offers regardless of what we have done or will do.  His gift of grace is unconditional.

Yes, we need to receive His gift in faith.  He holds the gift out to us.  We can decide to accept it or reject it.  We have decided to accept God’s gift of salvation.  Will we accept other gifts He offers us?

Receiving from Him,

Noah Woodrich

Living for the glory of God by grace received through faith in the Messiah, the Word of God made flesh.  We have a dream & request support and prayers.

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


113 Big ‘N Little

“But will God really dwell on earth?  The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you.  How much less this temple I have built!”  I Kings 8:27

He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.  Colossians 1:17

“God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.  ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’”  Acts 17:27-28

Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight.  Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.  Hebrews 4:13

God is big, and He is also in the little.  We cannot build a temple big enough for Him, but He lives inside of us by His Spirit.  He holds all things together.  He created the forces of nature, one which holds the planets to our Sun, another which holds atoms together to form compounds, and still another one which holds the nucleus of an atom together.  God is vast, yet He still sees the little.  He manages the stars in the universe, yet He will not let a sparrow fall without His permission (Matthew 10:29).

We may wonder if God cares about all the little details of our lives.  We don’t want to trouble Him with small matters.  We pray for the big things, but struggle with daily life on our own, thinking that our problems are too insignificant to ask for God’s help.  However, He wants us to know that He sees everything we are going through.  In fact, we actually live in Him, and He lives in us.  We can do nothing outside of His purview.  We may try to hide from Him, but nothing can hide us from His sight (Psalm 139:7-12).

Does He sympathize with our experience?  He is vast, so how could He trifle with our inconsequential lives?  He can sympathize because He became one of us and lived among us (Hebrews 4:15).  He knows firsthand what life feels like for us.  He experienced hunger, thirst, pain, loneliness and even abandonment.  One of His closest friends betrayed Him.  He was ridiculed, mocked, beaten and even crucified.  He went through the worst of what we experience, and so He understands us, and He wants to help us with all of our problems.

God lives far away, yet He is also close to us and even in us.  He can see it all.  He is in it all.

There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called—one Lord one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.  Ephesians 4:4-6

Marveling at Him,

Noah Woodrich

Living for the glory of God by grace received through faith in the Messiah, the Word of God made flesh.  We have a dream & request support and prayers.

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


112 Faithful

Many of us learned to distrust others.  Parents and others in authority broke our trust by hurting us in various ways.  We put our distrust on God, believing, even if unconsciously, that God was like broken human authority figures.  We need to remember that God is faithful, trustworthy and true.

The One Who calls you is faithful and he will do it.  I Thessalonians 5:24

We need to trust God and receive His promises in faith.  Jesus is the Rock upon whom we can build our lives (cf, Matthew 7:24).  As we put our trust in Him and believe His word and promises to us, He shows Himself faithful and true.  We learn to depend on Him, not on ourselves.  He is our confidence, our shield, our defender, our strong tower.  Jesus is the Way.

If we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for is he cannot disown himself.  II Timothy 2:13

God remains faithful whether or not we are faithful.  He initiated relationship with us.  He devised the plan of salvation.  Our relationship with Him was all His idea.

He formed a covenant with Abraham to bless all nations through his seed.  God still honors His covenant with Abraham and through him to bless all nations.  A contract differs from a covenant in that if one party of a contract breaks the terms, the other party is freed from any obligation of the contract.  God will never break His covenants.

Let us continue to hold onto the hope which we acknowledge without wavering.  For the One Who made the promise is trustworthy.  Hebrews 10:23, CJB

We make our lives simpler when we trust in His faithfulness.  We do not have to make plans for the worst or let the enemy of our souls throw us into confusion.  We can relax knowing that God is in control, and in control for our good.

God remains faithful whether we are faithful or not.  He initiated relationship with us and saved us.  God does not make us trust Him; we choose to trust Him.  We can learn to let go of fear, apprehension and doubt.  We learn instead to rest in His faithfulness.  Then we will know assurance of His goodness and kindness towards us who believe in Him (Ephesians 2:7-8).

Holding on to Him,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME:  Wisdom, Intercession, Teaching, Hospitality, Mercy, Encouragement

Living for the glory of God by grace received through faith in the Messiah, the Word of God made flesh.  We have a dream & request support and prayers.

Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


111 Immutable

God is immutable.  We can try to click “mute” on the remote control, but that does not silence God.  He still speaks even if we ignore Him.  Eventually, He will make everyone hear His voice.  “At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10-11).

Many pretend God does not exist.  They remove Him from public life and from private decisions, but He will not be removed.  “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:13).  We will not be able to make any excuses at that time.  The best we could do would be to say, “God, have mercy on me, a sinner” (Luke 18:13).

“I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me.  I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come.  I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.”  Isaiah 46:9-10

“I the Lord do not change.”  Malachi 3:6

The quote above from Malachi is in the context of God accusing Israel of leaving Him and His ways.  God called them back to true worship.  God had punished them, but He had not forsaken them.  He was true to His word then and still is, today.

Our sin does not change God.  He still loves us.  Our prayers do not change God, either.  God answers prayer—He says that He will.  Our prayer may touch God’s heart and lead Him to act, but it does not change Who God is or how He interacts with humanity.

We cannot justly find fault with God.  Even Job was unsuccessful at that.  In the end he repented.  “My ears had heard of you, but now my eyes have seen you.  Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:5-6).

All of human activity throughout history has not changed God.  We have made discoveries and inventions, but God already knew them before we did.  Nothing we could say or do would surprise God.  We cannot come up with some new idea that He did not already know.

We can plead,beg, cry, wail and bemoan our circumstances or the state of the world, but that will not change God.  We cannot devise some plan that will thwart His purposes or get Him to change His mind.  We cannot make God bend to our will.

“I the Lord do not change.”  Nothing will change Him.  After all that has happened since the creation of the world, God remains the same.  Only our perception of Him changes.  He has revealed Himself to us more and more.  We gain more insight as we listen to Him.  Our thoughts about God may change, but He remains the same.

God is immutable.

In awe of Him,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME:  Wisdom, Intercession, Teaching, Hospitality, Mercy, Encouragement

Living for the glory of God by grace received through faith in the Messiah, the Word of God made flesh.  We have a dream & request support and prayers.

Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


110 Other

Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens?  Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance?  Who has understood the mind of the Lord or instructed him as his counselor?  Whom did the Lord consult to enlighten him, and who taught him the right way?  Who was it that taught him knowledge or showed him the path of understanding?  To whom, then, will you compare God?  What image will you compare him to?  Isaiah 40:12-14 & 18

We can’t put God into a box.  We might try, but He won’t fit.  God is sovereign.  He has plans and purposes which He will ensure will prevail.  We cannot figure Him out.  He is other.

He is unlike anyone else we know or can know.  He is loving and powerful, merciful and just.  He is in control without being controlling.  He is above all things and in all things.  He is holy and blameless and loves us eternally.  He cannot tolerate sin and also made His abode with us.  He is slow to anger and yet vengeance is His.  He has all of these qualities and more.  We cannot fully comprehend Him.  He is beyond our understanding.

A comparison of God with anyone else fails in many ways.  He is more loving, more powerful, more holy, more just, more majestic, more glorious, more knowledgeable, more wise, more truthful, more intimate, more jealous, more safe, more alive, more joyful, more faithful, more compassionate, more forgiving, more giving, more steadfast, more truly good and more enduring than anyone else.  We truly cannot wrap our minds around Who God is.  He is outside of our conceptualization of Him.  He is other.

Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.  Psalm 145:3

God is also different from us in what motivates Him.  I have been saying how God is different from us.  Actually, we are different from God.  He existed before anything else, and He created us in His own image.  However, because we are fallen, we are very different from Him.  We are greedy, selfish and self-serving.  We want what is good for us even if it might harm someone else.  However, God has our best interests in mind.  He truly loves and gives, even sacrificing Himself for us.

God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see.  To him be honor and might forever.  Amen.  I Timothy 6:15-16

In awe of Him,

Noah Woodrich

 WITH ME:  Wisdom, Intercession, Teaching, Hospitality, Mercy, Encouragement

Living for the glory of God by grace received through faith in the Messiah, the Word of God made flesh.  We have a dream & request support and prayers.

Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


109 Isaiah 40

I have been talking a lot about prayer.  I want to transition over to characteristics of God, quoting selections from Isaiah 40 to do so.  I hope you find it as powerful as I do.

Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.

And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it.  For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

A voice says, “Cry out.”  And I said, “What shall I cry?”  “All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field.  The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the Lord blows on them.  Surely the people are grass.  The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.”

To whom, then, will you compare God?  What image will you compare him to?

He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers.  He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in.

“To whom will you compare me?  Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One.  Lift your eyes and look to the heavens:  Who created all these?  He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name.  Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.

Why do you say, O Jacob, and complain, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord; my cause is disregarded by my God”?  Do you not know?  Have you not heard?  The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.  He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.  He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.

Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. 

Isaiah 40:1, 5, 6-8, 18, 22, 25-26, 27-29, 30-31

Trusting in Him,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME:  Wisdom, Intercession, Teaching, Hospitality, Mercy, Encouragement

Living for the glory of God by grace received through faith in the Messiah, the Word of God made flesh.  We have a dream & request support and prayers.

Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com

 


108 Authority

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” Matthew 28:18-19

If God is in control, does that mean that He chooses for us what we will decide? Are we the slaves to God’s will? One of my readers got me wondering about this.

God is in control, but He is not controlling. God leads us without controlling us. He is more like a stereotypical grandfather than a stereotypical father. He does not stand over us chastising us for every mistake.

Think about Joseph and his brothers. God did not make Joseph’s brothers sell him into slavery. They choose what to do themselves because they were jealous of Joseph’s robe and his dreams. They debated what exactly to do with Joseph. They considered murdering him, but decided instead to sell him into slavery; “after all, he is our brother, our own flesh and blood.” (Genesis 37:27)

Pontiphar’s wife began to lust after Joseph. When Joseph ran away from her, she decided to accuse Joseph of trying to rape her. Pontiphar believed his wife and had Joseph jailed. In all of this, God worked His will without controlling anyone. In the end Joseph became head of all Egypt, second only to Pharaoh. Joseph had his family brought to Egypt and so saved them from seven years of intense famine.

How can God be in control without being controlling? How does He make His will triumph against human rebellion? This is a mystery for which only God has the answer.

We choose whether or not to submit to God’s will. I have been reading the biography of Oswald Chambers. According to Chambers as reported by his biographer, David McCasland, “The purpose of prayer…was to get into step with God, not to manipulate or coerce Him into blessing personal plans.”

Is God controlling? A pastor helped me see the deeper question. If we surrender to God in trusting obedience, will we feel controlled by God? Perhaps, but that does not mean that God is controlling us. How we feel flows from how we interpret the circumstances of our lives, from what we think about what is happening around us. If we believe that God wants to control us, then we will either feel controlled by Him or choose to rebel against Him.

After saying “All authority…has been given to me” Jesus said, “Therefore, go and make disciples….” He has authority, but we need to obey. The choice is ours.

Seeking (imperfectly) to obey my Master,

Noah Woodrich

Living for the glory of God by grace received through faith in the Messiah, the Word of God made flesh.  We have a dream & request support and prayers.

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement.

Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


107 God Will

“You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.” Revelation 4:11

We all know that God created everything. He is just that powerful. He can do whatever He wants to do.

Jesus replied, “What is impossible with men is possible with God.” Luke 18:27

We know that God can do anything, but what is He going to do? How will He resolve the issues in our lives?

May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you though and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it. I Thessalonians 5:23-24

The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O Lord, endures forever. Psalm 138:8

God is sanctifying us. He will accomplish His purposes for us. Yet, what is He going to do for us? Will He give us the things that we want?

Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Psalm 37:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

We may have to release some aspects of our old selves which are still clinging to us. We have been crucified with Christ, so that we no longer live, but Christ lives in us (Galatians 2:20). God knows what is best for us. The desires He has placed in us He will fulfill in His timing. We need to let go of anything that does not come from Him. Anything that does come from Him He will accomplish.

There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the Lord. Proverbs 21:30

Trusting in Him,

Noah Woodrich

Living for the glory of God by grace received through faith in the Messiah, the Word of God made flesh.  We have a dream & request support and prayers.

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement.

Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com

 


106 God’s Will

When we wait a long time for our prayers to be answered, we may wonder if God’s will is not to grant our requests. This can lead to discouragement. Let’s look at this in a different way. When we don’t get what we want when we want it, and we ask God again and again for it, we are connecting with Him. When we listen to our inner voice, we hear what He is saying to us. Perhaps God is not saying “No” to our prayers. Let’s consider what the Bible has to say about God’s general will for us.

“For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:40

“So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ [Y]our Heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his Kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:31-33

“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10

“I do not give to you as the world does.” John 14:27

“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

“Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again, and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.” John 16:22

“I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20

“I want those you have given me to be with me where I am and to see my glory.” John 17:24

“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.” John 15:9

And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. I John 3:23

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. I Thessalonians 5:16-18

May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, thought Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. Hebrews 13:20-21

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:1-2

God is in control, and He is in control for our good. He has our best interests in mind. Perhaps we need to let go of some of our prayers. Perhaps God is transforming some of our prayers into something else we did not expect. We are His workmanship (Ephesians 2:10), and He is leading us into His will for our lives.

In process of being transformed,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement.

Living for the glory of God by grace received through faith in the Messiah, the Word of God made flesh.  We have a dream & request support and prayers.

Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com

 


104 Relinquishing

We want what we want when we want it, and we want others to be happy when we get it. We may pray earnestly God gives us what we want and feel disappointed when we do not receive it in our time frame. We might get insistent and demanding with God. In these times we need to relinquish control to God.

He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, “Father, if You are willing, take this cup from Me; yet, not my will, but Yours be done.” Luke 22:41

Relinquishing prayer does not mean we let go of all our desires. Rather, we pray for what we want in an attitude of humility, not demanding God to grant our request, but asking for our heart’s desire and leaving the answer to God.

Today I read about Dorrie, a Filipino young woman who exemplified relinquishing prayer. She took a ride on the ship Christopher. A furious storm sank the ship which had no life-boats and far too few life-vests. Dorrie swam poorly and had no life-vest. She clung to a piece of floating wood from the ship. After sinking and returning to the surface three times, she saw a large fire extinguisher floating at her. She held it in one hand and the wood in the other. The storm and waves had separated her from others. She sung to the Lord as night approached and prayed. She saw two bras and had a sudden insight to use them to tie together the wood and extinguisher. She then leaned upon them. By early morning she was exhausted and dehydrated. When a sudden rain fell, she said, “Thank you, Jesus!” and drank it. After another three hours she was so weak that she prayed, “Lord, I’m ready to die in the sea to be with You, but I’m also ready to live to serve You. You choose, Lord; Your will be done.” Two carrots floated to her. She received a bit of strength from eating them. Half an hour later, seventeen hours after the ship sank, she was rescued.*

Relinquishing prayer involves opening our hands rather than grasping for what we want. We hold loosely the things we want and allow God to work in our hearts as well as our circumstances. We present our requests to God not knowing how He will answer. While waiting, we thank Him for His goodness to us and find “the peace that surpasses understanding.” (Philippians 4:7)

Receiving His peace,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement.

Living for the glory of God by grace received through faith in the Messiah, the Word of God made flesh.  We have a dream & request support and prayers.

Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com

 

*Robert Doorn, The Filipinos Are Coming! pp. 39-41


102 Humility Not Shame

I last blogged in June of 2014. I have been working through a lot of things, especially moving out of our apartment last year. I finally decided to take a year off in keeping with Exodus 23:10-11, “For six years you are to sow your fields and harvest the crops, but during the seventh year let the land lie unplowed and unused.” Some people call this the Shemitah year. That occurred from September 2014 to September 2015. Lately, I have been taking care of Marguex, and we are working through buying a house, so still very busy. I want to start blogging again and am taking the time to do this. Here is the first of what hopefully will be a long series of more blogs. Thanks for being patient.

When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom Proverbs 11:2

Last time I wrote about magic-bullet prayer. We cannot make God do our bidding. We simply lay our requests before Him and trust Him with the answers. We need to persist in prayer in humility, not demanding our way with God. Humility involves surrendering our will to God’s will.

Yet, we need to take care of ourselves. We need to provide for our needs and desires. We need to assert ourselves, right? Modern psychology certainly would back all these statements. However, I find the Bible to take a very different approach. According to the Bible, we need to humble ourselves before God, and He will provide for us.

To humble ourselves, we need to cast our cares upon God in trusting obedience. We humbly look to Him to provide for all of our needs and even to decide what it is we really need. We accept His will for our lives and lay aside our selfishness and selfish ambition.

To humble ourselves may seem like shame. We need to learn the difference. In humility we acknowledge our limitations before the Almighty God. In shame we say that we are less than others. Shame leads to pride, not humility. We can humble ourselves without rejecting ourselves. Rejecting ourselves exhibits pride because we claim to have some authority to decide whether or not we are acceptable. God has already accepted us in His own dear Son Whom He loves!

For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted. Luke 1:14

God wants us to humble ourselves so that He can exalt us. Humility is not about making ourselves nothing, but about receiving the gift of what God thinks about us. Shame and humility are not the same thing. We need ongoing revelation on this to discern the difference.

Looking for His ongoing revelation,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching/shepherding Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.

We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline: http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


101 Magic Bullet Prayer

Many times in our lives we hope for “magic bullet” prayers which guarantee God would grant our requests. For example, we cry, “Papa, please help my car to start.” You know I need to get to work on time. You command me to work, and where You guide, You provide, so make it start right now! I claim victory in Jesus’ name!” If we could just say the right words and have deep enough faith He would give us what we want.

Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”   II Corinthians 12:8-9

If God always said, “Yes,” to our magic bullet prayers, we would feel compelled to pray over every difficulty we hear until we found the “magic bullet” that would finally convince God to solve every problem to our satisfaction. The responsibility for the problems of family, friends and even the world would weigh on us. Intense pressure would obligate us to find those just right prayers to achieve our view of “success”.

This sounds like perfectionism.

If we could persuade God to always say “Yes,” then we could manipulate God. To think we have this power over Him involves great pride. Continuing for some time in this thought, we would find ourselves trying to manage the whole world. That job is already taken.

“With great power comes great responsibility.” If we knew that with just the right prayer we could get a “Yes,” we would continually feel guilty for not spending all our time looking for “magic bullet” prayers. We would feel a severe demand to find that “magic bullet.”

God reigns over the universe, and He is not giving His job away. He will decide how to answer our prayers. Thank God for that! We are not in charge, He is. It would be “Heaven” in our view if we could get all our desires fulfilled. Heaven will be here—in God’s timing.

I thank God for the times He has denied my requests. That reminds me that I am not responsible for everything. God is in charge and that for our good.

Many of us have prayed hard and long for our hearts’ desires. We use every prayer we can think to apply to these situations. We claim God’s goodness and His power, and still, “No,” or, “Not yet,” is the answer. We cannot rush God. Any, “No,” except those with a time element, could be a, “Not yet.”

In His word, God says, “I will…” He will cause it to happen. We do not have the power to make God change the world. When we let God be the One in charge, we relieve ourselves of a burden that is not ours to bear. We give responsibility back to God by praying relinquishment. It may sound like this, “Father, I give this issue over to You, trusting in You to work Your will in this situation.”

Learning to accept my limitations in humility,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching/Shepherding Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.

We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline at: http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


98 Not an Option

Either we humble ourselves, or we will be humbled. Humbling ourselves is the better option.

For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted. Luke 18:14

Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.” Mark 10:42-44

James and John requested to be next to Jesus in the Kingdom of God. The rest of the disciples reacted to James and John’s request in a typically human manner. In a like manner, we seek to be elevated over others. We also resent those over us. How peculiar, we resent those who succeed but if we were to succeed, we would think we deserved our success and others should be glad for us. We cling to this double standard. We wish ourselves fortune and others failure. We won’t complain when we get what is better. We only say, “That’s not fair!” when others get something better than we do.

How about this: The next time we get some special benefit, say, “It’s not fair that I received this special privilege that others didn’t receive!” Let’s try it now, “It’s not fair that I get to live in the first world while others are living in destitute poverty all around the world! It’s not fair that I am saved while others are going to hell. It’s not fair that I get to experience God’s love while others know nothing about it! I don’t deserve all the special privileges I am receiving!”

Complaining, “It’s not fair,” about receiving some benefit goes against our natural tendencies. Our flesh is naturally selfish. We want what we want when we want it, and we want others to be happy about it. “Me! Me! Me!” is the cry of our hearts. Telling ourselves to be humble is like teaching a cat to do tricks. We cannot make ourselves humble. Neither can others make us humble because that would be shaming.

“He who humbles himself…” How then do we humble ourselves? We definitely need God’s help in the process, and the great thing is we can ask for His help. This is in itself an act of humbling ourselves before Him. I hope to talk about prayer and God’s nature in upcoming posts.

Prayerfully Yours,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching/Shepherding Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we have been comforted.

We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline: http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


97 Humility Summary

The secrets to humility change how we relate to others. These secrets are:  Weakness, Worship Listening Obedience, Confession, Learning not to Boast, Responsibility, Overlooking an Offense, Pain, Asking for Help, Receiving Gifts, Thankfulness, Receiving Compliments, Seeking to Understand, Advice, Yielding an Argument, Understanding Anger, Forgiving, Giving, Serving, Contentment, Waiting, Joy, Kindness, Rest, The Right Fear, Salvation and Clothed.

Does the above list seem impossible to accomplish? Good, because it is. We cannot humble ourselves with our own power. Owning our inability to make ourselves humble actually moves us closer to true humility. Realizing our limitations, we cry out to God for help, placing ourselves under His mighty hand.

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him Who called us by His Own glory and goodness. II Peter 1:3

The humility list could continue indefinitely. Any circumstance beyond our ability teaches us humility. When bad things happen, let us rejoice! Yes, rejoice in the bad things that happen to us. God uses them to develop humility in our character. (James 1:2-4) We need humility to receive the good things God has for us as gifts. Faith, hope and love (I Corinthians 13:13) also become a part of our character. These four traits work together.

A secret for losing humility is to talk about how good we are at it. (Luke 18:12) Even if we are not boasting about how humble we have made ourselves, talking about humbling ourselves can open our hearts to seeking praise from men rather than praise from God. In reminding one another of the need to humble ourselves we need to be sensible of the temptation toward claiming credit.

We resist humbling ourselves. Humbling ourselves can be agonizing because we become aware of the shame as well as the other feelings and memories that go with it. Pride masks our shame. Letting go of pride makes us vulnerable. Allowing ourselves to look at all of this is a step in the process of finding freedom from pride, shame and perfectionism. We allow ourselves to heal when we let go of denying our shame. We can respond to shame either with humility or with pride. Shame is masked by pride. We are not freed from shame by pride. God liberates us with humility. We are freed from shame as we humble ourselves under His mighty hand. (1 Peter 5:6)

Realizing I have lots to let go of,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching/Shepherding Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we have been comforted.

We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Blog Outline at: http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


96 Clothed

The twenty eighth secret to humility is being clothed with the Lord Jesus Christ.

Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature. Roman 13:14

When we accept salvation as God’s gift, we receive Jesus into our hearts. Jesus still sits on His throne in Heaven, but He also lives in us by His Spirit. This is a great mystery of the Trinity. God gives us Jesus because God’s nature is to give. He wants Jesus to live in us! We may resist Jesus, but Jesus does not withhold Himself from us.

Jesus lives in us. We also live in Him. He holds us like clothing does. In clothing ourselves in Jesus, we choose Him over ourselves. We let go of the desires of the sinful nature and instead desire Jesus. We humbly acknowledge that what Jesus gives us is much better than what we could want apart from Him.

When we clothe ourselves with Jesus, we rankle (wrinkle) our sin natures. Our sin natures resist Jesus and his work in our lives. We need to choose Jesus over sin. When we choose Jesus, we clothe ourselves in Him.

In being clothed in Jesus, we take on His nature. We allow ourselves to be transformed into His likeness. “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2)

“Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” (I Corinthians 11:1) Being transformed into Christ’s image is a process. We imitate Christ. We often fail as we seek to imitate Him. We are far from perfect. When we choose to follow Jesus’ example, we get some idea of how far away from that example we are. Realizing this is humbling.

We humble ourselves as we find how much we are not like Christ and then choose to continue to seek and follow Him. In this life we will never get to the point that we can say that we are just like Him, but we still make our aim to be like Him. Being transformed into the likeness of Jesus is a process. We need to humble ourselves before Him and ask Him to transform us more and more into His image.

Being clothed,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching/Shepherding Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received. We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline: http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


95 Salvation

Another secret to finding humility is receiving the Savior’s free gift.

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23

We cannot save ourselves. We would like to think we could. We want to prove ourselves worthy of praise and approval. We seek to earn the praise and approval we so desperately desire. We strive to fill the deep emptiness in our souls with accomplishments. This simply does not work. We need to accept that Jesus has done for us what we are not able to do for ourselves. We need to accept His love, which fills the deep emptiness of our souls. We need to accept salvation as God’s free gift to us.

Salvation is God’s plan, but we resist it because we think we need to earn approval. (Romans 4:5) We need to let go of our old ways of thinking and instead accept God’s truth. We can hear God speaking to us through the Bible. The Bible says that we are sinners in need of salvation. We resist this message because we intend to prove ourselves worthy. We counter God’s truth with our own ideas, which are not actually true.

These ideas which we hold onto so dearly feel true. (Perhaps you have seen this in me by reading the e-letters.) We believed many of them for most of our lives. We learned them as small children. Our families and culture reinforce these ideas because our society in general believes them true. We live in a culture that rewards hard work. God’s Kingdom provides a very different paradigm—His pain, our gain. In God’s Kingdom, God does the work, and we reap the benefit. This may sound strange to some of you. The Bible clearly shows this as true. Some may question because what the world says seems truer than what God says. We need God to reveal truth to us in order for us to let go of the world’s ways of thinking.

We do have a role to play. (Philippians 2:12) We believe. We receive. We engage in disciplines. But God saves us, and He sanctifies us “according to His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13). We cannot take credit for our salvation. In faith and humility we open ourselves to God, and He does the rest by saving us. We believe in God, not in ourselves. It’s like pedaling a bicycle verses walking it along. We rest in our salvation.

I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation. II Corinthians 6:2

Will we choose God’s way rather than our own?

Thankful for the ride,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching/Shepherding Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we have been comforted.

We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline: http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


94 The Right Fear

Number 26 secret to finding humility is the Right Fear.

You may wonder at this phrase, the Right Fear. The Bible tells us not to be afraid. However, fear does have an appropriate place. Consider Who deserves your fear. Turn your fear towards Him.

I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you Whom you should fear: Fear Him Who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear Him. Luke 12:4-5

We need to trust God more than we fear Him. Yet, fearing God informs our trust in Him. When we fear God, we have some idea of how much we need to trust Him.

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.” Hebrews 12:28-29

Since you call on a Father Who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear. I Peter 1:17

The fear of the Lord teaches a man wisdom, and humility comes before honor. Proverbs 15:33

If we think we know better than God what is good for us, we exhibit incredible amounts of pride. Adam and Eve thought that they knew better than God what would be good for them and so ate the fruit forbidden to them. They believed the one who lacked an appropriate fear of God and chose not to fear God themselves. Likewise, we lack fear of God when we choose our way instead of God’s.

In fear we humbly submit to God. He truly deserves our fear because He is awesome in majesty. He is all-knowing and all-powerful. Yet His awesome splendor, holiness and power can be scary. We can be reassured that He also loves us. To know how much He loves us, we also need to know how undeserving we are of His love.

Fear of God engages our hearts. We need more than right doctrine and thoughts about God. We need to experience the truth of what we believe. We recognize how awesome and mighty God is. We realize how sinful we have been. To allow this knowledge, this reality into our hearts leads us to fear God. Out of this fear, this deep sense of awe, can grow a deep and abiding trust in God. We become grateful when we acknowledge God’s mercy towards us as we realize what we deserve.

In C.S. Lewis’ book, The Silver Chair, Jill Pole found herself in the circumstance of being incredibly thirsty. She went in search of a stream which she had heard. But terror struck her to the core when she saw next to the stream the immense Lion Who had blown her friend away. Pushing through her fear, she decided to trust this Lion, Aslan, enough to take a drink. The water was incredibly sweet.

Finding the Right Fear,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching/shepherding Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received

We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline: http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


93 Rest

Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30

Secret number 25 to finding humility is Rest.

I like to rest. How about you? When I was single, my housemates could have told you that my favorite pastime was lying on the couch. Yet, I really resist resting. I have lots of things to do. I need to get them done. Time is passing, and so I need to hurry to accomplish my goals—or so I think.

We hurry because we lack trust. Lacking trust leads to striving. When we do not trust God to provide, we take on the onus of finding provision. “Do I want or need anything?” We look for ways to get our needs and desires met. When we do not trust God to provide for us, then we strive to get it by our own effort. We burden ourselves.

The way we counter this tendency is to strive to enter His rest. (Hebrews 4:11) Strange but true, we need to exert effort in order to rest! We have developed the habit of work. We need to develop a new habit of entering His rest, His Sabbath rest, a rest we can live in daily as we walk in the works He prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10)

Resting might provoke fear in us. At these times, we need to remember that God has everything in control. We belong to Him, and He will take care of us. After all, nothing we do on our own will last. “LORD, You establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished You have done for us.” (Isaiah 26:12) Anything of eternal value comes from Him. “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, Who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17)

We need to seek God for His direction. As we learned last time, we can pray and fast. However, praying and fasting do not accomplish anything in of themselves. In fact, fasting helps us to realize how truly weak we are. The real power (ability) for change comes from God.

When we rest, we see God move in our lives. He moves without our help or effort. This feels humbling. God does not need our help. We do need God’s help.

Striving to enter His rest,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received

We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline: http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com

To Be is to Do. –Socrates; To Do is to Be. –Descartes; To Do Be Do Be Do. –Sinatra


91 Kindness

Hi, there, Noah has just started a new job in the past few weeks and this topic is one that is near and dear to my heart.  I offer my best attempt at writing.

A kindhearted woman gains respect but ruthless men gain only wealth.  A kind man benefits himself, but a cruel man brings trouble on himself.  Prov. 11:16-17

The twenty third secret to humility is Kindness.

For many of us the term kindness has been vilified.  Oh, kindness is just being codependent.  Why care for the clerk when we have many other things to think of and people to consider.  We often figure that there are others who will meet this person’s heart.  We are not their pastor, priest or rabbi.  Or are we?  Does not Peter (I Peter 2:9) remind us that we are all called to be priests?  We have a voice and authority to speak into people in our lives.

Say, for example, we are sitting next to a couple and we hear them talk of the loss of a family member.  It would be inappropriate to acknowledge that we overheard such a sensitive matter.  Or would it?  Is that not the deception the enemy would have us believe?  Perhaps that is the specific reason the great High Priest has placed us there.  All it takes is a polite, “Pardon me, I am sorry that I overheard, but may I pray for you in this hard time?”  Of the many ways this could play out, one being that they gladly accept the prayer, is that they could refuse.  If this happens, you can very politely and delightedly say that you like to hear people say, “No.”  This gives them a new view of God and also of believers.

Humility applies at this point.  When we are kind to people, we risk being rejected.  To be kind, we need to offer our best to others not knowing if they will receive or reject what we have to offer.  Further, we “consider others above ourselves” when we are kind to them.

C.S. Lewis wrote kindness is not the same as being nice.  When we are being kind, we consider the other person’s ultimate good.  They may not appreciate in the moment what we are offering them and we may not receive any earthly reward for what we do for them.  In humility we let go of any expectation of how we will be treated for our kindness.

Actually, we benefit ourselves when we are kind.  As the verse above states, we gain the respect of others.  We may see this as people return our kindnesses with kindness toward us.  Yet, the greatest benefit is how we are changed as we show kindness towards others.  For example, when we bless others when they curse us, we are transformed into the Lord’s image through His renewing power.

Finding His kindness,

Marguex (with some minor input from Noah) Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


90 Joy

The twenty-second secret to humility is Joy.

Rejoice in the Lord always.  I will say it again, rejoice.  Philippians 4:4

The Lord has impressed on my heart the importance of smiling.  I have heard many times, “Phil, you really need to smile more.”  Years ago at work I decided to do so.  After a couple of weeks I asked a co-worker for feedback.  I expected to hear, “You are much happier.”  I heard “You are less grumpy in the morning.”  Hmm, not smiling can communicate grumpiness.

I have struggled with smiling.  I often do not feel like smiling.  I hear that my frown lines are growing.  I think, “I don’t want to smile.  I hate smiling.  I’m angry.  I’m sad.  I’m not a happy camper.  Why should I smile?”  I rationalize that I have gone through a lot in life, and so I feel justified to feel what I feel when I feel it.

However, feeling what I feel when I feel it is not submitting my feelings to the Lord.  He clearly says, “Rejoice in the Lord always.  I will say it again, rejoice.”  The next verse says, “Let your gentleness be evident to all.” (Philippians 4:5)  Joy enables us to be gentle and communicates warmth and acceptance.  Being joyful enables us to be more loving.

Letting go of negative emotions and being joyful requires humility.  We need to let go of resistance and embrace God’s promises.  We have a glorious future, bright and beautiful.  God promises that He will be with us for eternity.  Jesus said, “…rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:20)

“Rejoice in the Lord…”  We find our joy in the Lord.  Anything or anyone else only bring fleeting moments of joy.  The joy of the Lord lasts for eternity.  We need to open our hearts to Him.  As our hearts connect with His heart, we will find lasting joy.

With thoughts heaven,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


89 Waiting

The twenty first secret to humility is Waiting.

Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city.  Proverbs 16:32

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.  It teaches us to…to live self-controlled…lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ…  Titus 2:11-13

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.  Colossians 4:2

I hate waiting.  Actually, I despise it.  I have as long as I can remember.  I hated waiting in the lunch line.  I hated waiting for the bus.  I hated waiting in line for a ride at fairs.

I felt like I was being held captive whenever I had to wait, especially in a line.  If I could sit and wait, such as in a waiting room for the dentist, I could at least occupy myself with reading a magazine.  Still, I would feel stuck.  I was somewhere I did not want to be.  Waiting involved being forced to do something I did not want to do, even when that meant I was being forced to do nothing.

The point behind this secret is that we need to yield our will to that of others.  For example, in the line we yield to the people ahead of us.  We also become part of that line.  In the same way, the others behind us need to yield to us.

I used to take some comfort in watching a line behind me grow even as the line ahead of me decreased.  It was like payback; I got to laugh at those behind me.  “I had to wait so long, and now you have to!”  I liked it even better when I saw that others had to wait longer than I did.  My wife says, “Insert villain laugh here.”  Of course, laughing at other people waiting missed the power of the secret.

Waiting can develop humility in us if we will allow ourselves to release our frustrations to God and allow our hearts to become serene, as we trust in Him.  We need to let go of an attitude of resentment.  We need to learn to be satisfied where we are while we wait for what we need.  Knowing that we have everything we need for life and godliness helps us to learn patience.

As to our spiritual development, we need to open our hearts to the hope of becoming more like Christ.  We wait for God to do His work in us.  While we wait, we can watch what He is doing and thank Him for it.  We can pray that He continues to do His work in us.  Consider, we want God’s presence which we can have anywhere at any time.

The church has been waiting for Christ’s return for almost two thousand years.  Imagine this:  Jesus Himself has been waiting to come back.  He has been very patient in His waiting.

Watching and waiting,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


88 Contentment

Secret number 20 to finding humility is Contentment.

Someone we know had the following thoughts on discontent:  By nature we are discontented.  No matter what we get in life, we will never be fully satisfied.  We can find something to complain about in whatever circumstances we find ourselves.  If that is really true (and I find it true for myself), then how can we find real contentment?

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.  I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do everything through Him Who gives me strength.  Philippians 4:12-13

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”  Hebrews 13:5

The Apostle Paul experienced times of plenty as well as times of lack.  He fully expected those to whom he wrote to experience similar times of plenty and lack.  He indicated that we can find contentment in either situation.  When times are good we expect the good times to continue into the future.  We can become disappointed when we enter a time of lack.  One clue to contentment is to enjoy the present.  Life is a roller coaster.  We need to expect the ups and downs, throw our hands in the air and say, “wheeeee!”

Paul gives us another clue:  “I can do everything through Him Who gives me strength.”  We need to find our life in Jesus.  Hebrews 13:5 implies a similar thought.  We can be content with what we have because we have God’s presence with us.  No matter what is taken from us, no one can take God’s presence from us.  By the way, the hands in the air could be utilized to praise Him for the adventure and also that He is trustworthy and knows the track and has made it stable.

Okay, so, this is all very fine theology, but when we are hungry or thirsty, cold or hot, in need or full, theology does little to comfort us.  Times of lack give us the opportunity to learn real contentment, not just lofty ideals of how one could possibly become content.  When we lack, we connect with our brokenness as well become aware of how much we cannot control our circumstances.  When we feel our need we can become scared.  This is especially true for those of us who deal with perfectionism.  Neediness is terrifying because perfectionism is about proving ourselves to others and even more to self how not in need we are.

Contentment does not mean denying feeling needy.  Rather, contentment means finding peace and joy even in the midst of lack and neediness.  Humility comes in at this point when we own our need.  Lasting peace and joy come from the Lord Himself not from the circumstances of our lives being perfect.  When in need, we cry out to Him and find the Lord meeting our hearts.  He says, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”  We find ultimate satisfaction in Christ

Learning the secret of contentment,

Noah & Marguex Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


87 Serving

Secret number 19 to finding humility is Serving.

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many.  Mark 10:45

As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  John 13:34

Jesus provides our example.  He served.  He could have demanded we serve Him.  After all, He was the Ultimate Authority of the universe come to Earth.  He deserves our worship, honor and praise.  Yet, He did not demand any of this.  Rather, He came and served.

Not only did Jesus preach the Gospel and heal the sick, He even got Himself killed in the process of making sure our sins were accounted for—every one of them.  Consider the billions of people who have ever existed, and the countless sins each one of us has committed.  Jesus died for every single sin!  Oh, that all would take advantage of this heart freeing truth: their sins are covered!

Now, to follow Jesus’ example does not mean we will all be martyred, although many throughout the world have died/are dying and will die for Christ.  Yet we all are to serve one another.  Service takes a variety of forms, such as, doing practical things to help others.

The reality is, though, we resist serving others.  We think:  Why should I?  What do I get out of it?  I don’t feel like it, nor do I have the time or energy.  Others’ needs are not my concern.

We need to hear our Master, “As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”  He could have stayed in Heaven.  He made the ultimate sacrifice just to be born a human.  Then, He was mocked, abused and tortured to death.  He did not have to do this, except that this was His whole plan.  He chose to allow Himself to be treated so shamefully in order to save us.

Truly, we need to let go of our pride to serve others.  We need to put them ahead of ourselves.  We take care of others as if we are taking care of ourselves.  “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 19:19)  This requires us to let go of our agenda.  We need, instead, to care about others’ condition.

How can we serve others?  What do we hear God calling us to do today?

How can I serve you?  Your Servant,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


86 Giving

Secret number 18 to finding humility is Giving.

It is more blessed to give than to receive.  Acts 20:35

Freely you have received.  Freely give.  Matthew 10:88

Love your neighbor as yourself.  Matthew 19:19

Jesus commanded us to love.  Giving is one way to love.  We know this, yet we resist giving.  How many organizations ask us for money?  Lots, and not just at Christmas.  We get letters all year long for money.  We see appeals for charities on TV, in magazines and in news-papers.  We sometimes feel barraged.  I add to this with my own appeal.

We give, and yet how much giving is enough?  Jesus said “[I]f anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is My disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward.” (Matthew 10:42)  Any size gift matters in God’s Kingdom.  Yet, our question remains, how much do we give?

We need to hear from our Master what He would have us give.  Our flesh wants nothing to do with giving.  The world and the enemy foster selfishness and self-protection.  We tend to want to keep what we have, perhaps giving small tokens as long as that does not mean any personal sacrifice on our part.  Our Master calls us to sacrifice.  “Greater love has no one than this: that he lay down his life for his friends.  You are my friends if you do what I command.”  (John 15:13-14)

We do not like to hear “sacrifice”.  Humility enters and compels us to think of others above ourselves.  We need to lay aside our desires, plans and agendas in order to give sacrificially.

God does not call us to give what we do not have.  He does, however, call us to lay aside some of our own needs and desires in order to care for others.  What do you feel called by God to give to someone or some organization?

Keep in mind, when we give, we have this promise from God:

My God will meet your every need out of His riches in the glory that is found in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:19

Humbly yours,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


85 Forgiving

Secret number 17 to finding humility is to forgive.  Jesus taught the disciples to pray to the Father like this, “And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” (Mt. 6:12)  Undoubtedly, you have heard much about God’s forgiveness.  It seems to be the primary topic used by teachers of the Word.  His forgiveness enables us to be in relationship with God.  Forgiveness is vital.  Yet it can take time and requires humility.

We need to forgive others as an act of faith through the power of the blood of Jesus.  Our lack of forgiveness shows unbelief in the power of His blood to make atonement for everyone’s sins.  To be consistent, we need to recognize the blood is good enough not only for our sins but also for the sins committed against us.  In fact, submitting to Jesus’ Lordship necessarily involves forgiving those who hurt us.  Keep in mind the story of the servant who was forgiven much and then went and demanded payment from a fellow servant for a small amount. (Matt. 18:23-35)

“But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”  Matt. 6:15

Receiving God’s forgiveness enables us to forgive others, which then frees us from the shame and hurt caused us by other’s sin against us.  If we refuse to forgive others at this point, we then block ourselves from receiving God’s forgiveness.  We need to forgive in order to receive forgiveness.  Do you want to be forgiven?  Then forgive.  This is easy to write but how do we forgive others who have wronged us?  We first need to keep in mind that we have been forgiven by God and by others.  Whether or not we feel forgiven, we need to remember that we have been forgiven.

Second, forgiving is not the same as forgetting.  We don’t need to forget what others have done to us in order to forgive them.  Rather, we need to let go of any thoughts of revenge or punishing those who have hurt us.  If we want to punish others, we only succeed in hurting ourselves.  Bitterness is the poison we swallow in hopes of hurting the one who hurt us.  Lack of forgiveness blocks healing.

If forgiving others still feels impossible, then we need to have a good, long conversation with Jesus.  Tell Him exactly what happened in detail.  Then we need to listen to what Jesus has to say.  He has a healing word for us.  We only need to listen.  Remember, He said, “the sheep listen to His voice.  He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out.” (John 10:3)

If, after a long talk with Jesus, you still feel weighed down with bitterness and don’t feel able to forgive, know this:  You really can’t forgive on your own power.  It’s okay.  God understands.  Now don’t’ hear me say that you don’t need to forgive.  Rather, you need God’s power to forgive!  Ask God to give you the power to forgive.  Then watch for His divine power to work and receive the ability to forgive from Him as a gift.  God will forgive through you and in you.  Allow His forgiveness to flow through you.  After receiving His forgiveness, give it away.  We don’t deserve to be forgiven, it is a gift.  Those who hurt us don’t deserve to be forgiven.  Forgiveness is about grace; we neither earn nor deserve it.  We receive forgiveness from God and give it to others.  Life in God’s kingdom requires forgiveness.  Nice side benefit:  when you truly forgive you actually begin to forget!

Finding the grace to forgive,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


84 Anger

Secret number 16 to finding humility is learning to let go of anger.

Stop your anger!  Turn from your rage!  Psalm 37:8 NLT

A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.  Proverbs 29:11 NIV

I have changed my ideas about anger a few times over the years.  At one time I thought anger was an evil to be avoided.  Later, I realized that I really could not avoid encountering anger at times.  I even went to the point of embracing anger as a friend.  I thought it could be used as a way to overcome shame.  Yet, all the anger I have felt over the years has not taken away my shame.  Anger signals a problem but, in and of itself, does not solve the problem.

We need to understand why we are angry and deal with the issue.  Then we need to let go of the anger itself.  An analogy from fishing is catch and release.  We need to catch our anger—realize we are feeling it and find from whence it comes.  We may need to do something in response.  The anger can give us emotional impetus to do that, but then we need to let go of anger.  Holding on to anger harms us and those in our lives.

In our perfectionism we vacillate from squelching our hearts with shame to giving free vent to our anger which can result in shaming others.  We need to learn how to put our hearts on a “dog leash” or, in the case of our home, a “cat leash”.  We need to actually feel what our hearts feel while also learning to respond appropriately.  Shaming ourselves for feeling only squelches the feelings, intensifies them and prolongs them.  At the same time, these intense feelings do not give us permission to do whatever we feel like doing.

Our Example, Jesus knew beforehand that Judas would betray Him and was in anguish about it. (John 13:21)  Since Jesus experienced intense emotions, we will, as well.  Experiencing intense emotion does not mean we are not spiritual.  We have emotions.  How we respond to our emotions is what matters.  The way of humility involves letting go of the intensity of our emotions rather than holding on to this intensity.  Holding on to this swirl can lead to bitterness, selfishness, strife, etc.  Emotions take time to wind down.  Jesus, in dialoging with others and taking His strong emotions to His Father is our example in dealing with our own strong emotions.  We need to let hope replace anger as we learn to let go.  Learning is a process and takes time.

As we learn to let go of the past and look forward to the future we will realize that our past need not tie us down; our future can look very different from our prior experiences.  We need to trust God and believe in Him.  Our future is full of hope, bright and beautiful.  God is a Way-Maker and will make a way for us.

Trusting Him and holding on with a mustard seed of faith,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com

Sermon related to anger:    http://www.vineyardop.org/resources/multimedia/details/?id=244823


83 Yield an Argument

Secret number 15 to finding humility is to yield an argument.

I do nothing on My own, but speak just what the Father has taught Me…I always do what pleases Him.  John 8:28-29

We think we know the right way to do things.  When others ask us to do something their way, we balk.  We don’t want to do it a different way.  We resist because we have developed a system of rules for how to cope with life.  Anybody who requests us to do something that violates one of these rules is obviously wrong, mistaken and inadequate.  We have become accustomed to others yielding to us.  Thinking they should yield to us shows us our pride.  We think we know better than others.  When we encounter those who will not yield, we judge them as foolish for not seeing our wisdom.

At these times, we need to remember Jesus words in Matthew 7:3-5, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?  How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

Our perfectionism can clash with others’ perfectionism.  When we argue about what is right and correct, our rules can conflict other people’s rules.  At these times, we can apply this secret and yield the point.  Before a question becomes an argument, we can learn to yield.  We humble ourselves in this way.  We learn not to insist on our own way.

We ask, “But what if this point is important?”  Does it really matter?  Will anyone die as a result?  Really?  We need humility to acknowledge our rules are flawed.  We tend to go to the worst-case scenario and imagine terrible consequences if they are not followed.

An example of needing humility is as follows:  If one believes that buying generic products whenever possible is what everyone should do, maybe making exceptions when the name brand is only a few cents more than the generic or there is a significant quality difference, then there is an opportunity for humbling oneself.  Once upon a time, I made myself buy a certain type of apple even though I did not like them because they were the cheapest apple available.  I learned not to buy apples because I did not like that brand of apple!  Years later, I got married and Marguex picked out “expensive” apples.  I was shocked!  What?!  This other type of apple is so much cheaper!  This was a lesson I finally got; these apples were cheaper because people did not like their taste.

Asking forgiveness for argumentativeness,

Noah Woodrich (& Marguex, too)

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


82 Advice

Secret number 14 to finding humility relates to giving and receiving advice.

Be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.    James 1:19

We have clear ideas about what we like and what we hate.  Giving advice comes naturally; receiving it…can be painful and disheartening.  We have many ideas and need to learn not to be arrogant about them.  Thinking we know so much and that we could benefit many people with the insights we have may cause us to lose opportunities to learn.  We need to receive advice, not just give it.

In our pride, we think we have all the answers.  We have some answers, but we do not have the capacity to solve others’ problems.  We do well to listen and offer some ideas as long as we can offer and share them without any expectation of them using the ideas we give.  Others need to struggle through to find answers to their problems.  Even if the answer seems glaringly and painfully obvious to us, we need to give them space to struggle through to their resolution with God.  Offering our ideas to others not expecting them to use the ideas, makes us safe people for them.

Alternatively, we need to be open to receive others’ advice.  While, it is true that others cannot solve our problems, it is also true that others have useful and beneficial insights from which we can learn.  Moreover, we can hold loosely advice that others give to us; consider what they say without immediately dismissing or embracing it.  Remember, we are a fragrant aroma (II Corinthians 2:15).  It does not matter what others think of us.  We can care for each other while not caring about what others think about us.

The process of holding loosely involves a level of flexibility.  As we consider what others tell us, we need to keep in mind that we do not have to do things a certain way.  Part of perfectionism is being set in a certain way of thinking, holding a rigid adherence to a set of self-made rules.  If what someone tells us goes against our rules, we dismiss it.  Yet the rules we have could be wrong.

One rule has served me well over the years:  always check what price rings up at the cash register.  During the early years of our marriage, our grocery store would give the item free if it rang up with a price different from the shelf price because they were so confident that their system was accurate.  I did not share their confidence in their system.  We received many free things at this grocery store for a few years.  Once, we got a free cooler.

Regardless of all the free things we got, I learned to let go of the rule of checking each item.  It became a burden and stressed my relationship with my wife.  Sometimes we were in a hurry to get somewhere, yet I would still take the time to check the receipt [Marguex, upon editing, “Argh!!!!!”].  Even if we saw at the register something ringing up incorrectly, pointing that out would take time because someone would have to verify the correct price.  I still remember a 5-quart container of ice cream for which we were overcharged.  I decided to let it go in order to give us more time [Marguex is asking, “Is this the letting go of which you speak?  Ice cream?  5-quart? Really?!”]

My point is learning flexibility.  We can benefit if we sometimes let go of the rules and try something new.  That is the essence of receiving advice.

Learning flexibility with humor,

Noah Woodrich and Marguex (who puts her name here only under duress : )

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


81 Seeking to Understand

Secret number 13 to finding humility is seeking to understand rather than to be understood.

FYI, the numbers on these secrets are arbitrary.  They are not in order of importance, although I see the first two, weakness and worship, as especially key.  I have sought to put them in some kind of order as far as how they relate to one another, such as putting thankfulness after receiving gifts.  I hope this is sheds some light and is “understandable”.  :)

Before his downfall a man’s heart is proud, but humility comes before honor.  He who answers before listening—that is his folly and his shame.  Proverbs 18:12-13

We like feeling understood.  That is understandable.  We also have ideas that need to be heard by others and they have ideas we need to hear.  Our tendency, however, is first to seek to be heard and wait to hear others until later.  Let’s consider reversing that order—listen first and understand before seeking to be understood.  To so do on a consistent basis is humbling.  We know that our ideas are good.  Let us humble ourselves and consider others’ ideas just as important as our own.

Some of you may find it odd that I would even be saying this, “Of course other people’s ideas are as valid as my own!”  Let me tell you, part of me really believes I have the best ideas around.  Yes, that is grandiose and self-idealistic to think that God has bestowed on me, Phil Sigafus an extra special amount of wisdom and insight.  I hate even to admit it, yet I need to follow my own advice and confess (see the earlier humbling technique—confession).  I confess that I am proud.  God, please have mercy on me, a sinner!

So what do you think?  Now search your heart.  Do you secretly think that you have all the answers?  Do you wish that people would be silent, sit at your feet in wonderment and awe and just listen to you?  If they did and followed your sage advice, they would have better lives.  In fact, the whole world would be a better place if you were in charge, right?

Not to diminish what you know.  You do have a lot of good ideas.  Just remember, other people have good ideas, too.

I have a tendency to think very highly of myself.  I see that as I write these blogs.  Again, I recommend that you hold what I am saying loosely.  Allow God to speak to your heart.

From someone with a lot to say, and learning not to be proud of it,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


80 Receiving Compliments

Secret number 12 to finding humility is receiving compliments.  We learned not to boast.  Refraining from praising self, nurtures humility.  Receiving compliments also requires humility.

Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; someone else, and not your own lips.  Proverbs 27:2

We know that arrogance is wrong.  The Bible says a lot about it.  We do not want to appear arrogant.  So we push away compliments.  We confuse eschewing compliments with humility.

When we receive compliments, we humbly admit that we want them.  We need to build one another up in faith.  Others’ regard helps us know that we are doing well and others appreciate our contributions.  Compliments connect us with each other.  None of us can live life alone.  Solitary living increases perfectionism.  We need feedback.

We resist compliments because of shame.  Shame says that we do not deserve compliments.  Also, someone who compliments us today may insult us tomorrow.  We need to press through this shame and the fear that accompanies it.  Receiving compliments gives us the opportunity to let go of our shame, to let go of the fear.  We humble ourselves as we let go and acknowledge our need for connection with others by receiving their accolades.

People see things about us, which we cannot see in ourselves.  Hearing what they have to say gives us a new perspective.  We may not even realize what we say or do may be noticed let alone appreciated.  Praise from others gives us that awareness.

Receiving compliments also opens us to influence from others.  We might push away praise because we do not want to be vulnerable.  God can employ others to speak into our lives.  When we open ourselves to others, we open ourselves to God.  Because we need godly influences in our lives, we need to be with other believers.  To the point, God can utilize even non-believers to speak truth into our lives.

We apply discernment to the compliments we receive.  We may fear others will control us with praise.  After all, we know people who have used compliments to attempt to get us to do something we were not willing to do.  Yet, letting fear control us cuts us off from life with God.  This need not be.  When others try to use us, we need to put our trust in God.  He will deliver us and show us the way.

You may have no trouble receiving compliments.  You want to hear some.  Give some away and you may find some coming back to you.

Our ultimate approval comes from the Lord.  “My reward is with Me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done.” (Revelation 22:12)  Receiving and giving compliments together with others opens a space within our hearts to receive His praise.

Expecting some awesome feedback,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


79 Thankfulness

Secret number 11 to finding humility is thankfulness.

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.  I Thessalonians 5:16-18

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:6-7

The Lord tells us, “give thanks in all circumstances” and “with thanksgiving, present our requests to God”.  We readily thank God when we receive what we want.  We need to thank Him in all circumstances including times when we don’t receive what we want.  In giving thanks we humble ourselves and acknowledge God as the Giver of all good things (James 1:17).

Giving thanks when we don’t feel thankful may feel difficult or impossible.  Giving thanks when we feel disappointed is a sacrifice of praise.  When the enemy accuses God to us, we feel angry at Him and giving thanks becomes next to impossible.  Instead of giving thanks we want rebel against Him.  Our flesh rears its ugly head and insists on getting its own way.  It demands what it wants when it wants it regardless of what God says, tempting us strongly when we feel dissatisfied.  We may seek to please ourselves and rationalize our behavior.

We need to remember to listen to what is God saying to us in our times of disappointment.  He is not silent.  The Bible has many things to say regarding disappointment with God.  We need to listen for His specific messages to us.  We can begin by telling God we are angry or disappointed with Him.  Initially, this may seem to contradict being thankful.  We aim for thankfulness, starting where we are.  This is a confession.  Besides, God already knows what we are feeling and thinking (Ps. 139:1-4).  We need to read a Psalm to God to tell Him those thoughts and feelings.  Some ideas are:  Ps. 55, if betrayed by a friend, 64 when feeling threatened, 69 if feeling overwhelmed, intense emotion or humiliated, 70 if needing help (quickly), 77 if God seems absent, crying out for long time with no answer or lacking sleep or joy, 88 if life is full of troubles, poor health or abandoned by friends & family, 91 if feel unprotected, 102 if physical distress or illness, 109 if slandered, accused or condemned, 130 if in despair or guilty, 141 if feeling tempted.

It is important that we pour out our complaints to God in order to become thankful.  Even if our circumstances do not change, God is deserving of our thanks and praise.  While trying to ignore or forget our troubles can actually make them worse, giving our negative emotions to Jesus in surrender to God aids in becoming thankful.  As we pour out our complaint, we tend to think of things for which we are thankful.  God will remind us.  Consider, even when we don’t feel loved, God still loves us.  In this we can be thankful.  Thanking Him allows us to feel loved by Him.

Let’s thank God for at least five things every day for 30 days and see how our joy increases.

Thanking God for all of you,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


78 Receiving Gifts

A man actually managed to bring his gold to the pearly gates.  As he held his bar of gold, the angels asked each other, “Why is he bringing pavement?”

The tenth secret to finding humility is receiving gifts.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

“Grace is God’s promise to do for us what we can’t do for ourselves.”*

Salvation is a gift, our eternal home with God in heaven is a gift and life is a gift.  Even our faith is a gift from God.  All we have and can do is ultimately a gift from God.  We can never earn what God has freely given us.  It does not even cross His mind that we would attempt to earn His love; He wants us to receive His love as a gift.  Our relationship with God relies on Jesus’ blood not on our attempts to please God.

Even if we know all this and believe that God’s love is unmerited, we still struggle to receive His love.  We resist His gifts.  We try to earn His favor.  We know in our heads His favor is undeserved but we need to be honest about our internal process and the lies within our hearts that say we can earn it.  If we seek to earn God’s love, the relationship we are trying to have with Him is not consistent with His nature.  Have we resolved in our hearts that His love is gift or is there a falsely earned “gift” in its place usurping the place of His true gift?  We can espouse correct doctrine yet what truly matters is our heart’s attitude toward Him.

The old self or flesh pulls us towards rationalizing our salvation and relationship with God.  After all, why did God choose us to believe in Jesus?  We need to remember…

He Who did not spare His Own Son, but gave Him up for us all—how will he not also…graciously give us all things?  Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen?  It is God Who justifies.  Who is he that condemns?  Christ Jesus, Who died—more than that, Who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.  Romans 8:32-33

We want to give ourselves at least some credit for our salvation and God’s gifts so we can feel good about ourselves.  When we want the credit, we need to worship God and give Him all the credit.

God utilizes people to distribute His gifts.  In our old selves, we resist receiving gifts or help from people.  Friends and family bring both.  God has broken down my resistance by showing me how weak I am.  We cannot do what God calls us all to without each other.

To God be the glory, great things He has done,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com

*Francis Frangipane 7-21-13 at River of Life Church in Cedar Rapids, IA.


77 Asking For Help

The ninth secret to finding humility is asking for help.

March 28, 2013 was a day to remember.  I took our scooter out for a ride.  I hadn’t ridden it for a month or so and had some trouble starting it, but eventually got it going.  While I was out, I figured I could drop off a couple of bills at the post office.  I put the envelopes inside the seat compartment.  This necessitated that I turn the scooter off in order to retrieve them.  After I deposited the bills in the mailbox I tried to start the scooter again with no success.  Initially, it turned over, but eventually stopped and wouldn’t even turn over.  I guessed it was a combination of low battery and problem with the starter.

I decided to push it home where we had a battery charger.  It was a beautiful day, in sharp contrast to the previous week which was snowy and cold.  The ground was fairly level for a long way (for those familiar with Kansas City, I was on the Kansas side).  As I crossed the state line I was dreading the thought of pushing it up larger hills on the Missouri side.  I made it quite a way up the first hill and, out of desperation, tried to start it again.  The engine turned over a couple of times, and then stopped.  I noticed that my wife had called.  I called her back and we prayed it would start.  Still no go.  I tried the trick of starting it by going downhill.  That did not work.  I was talking to my wife again, letting her know what was happening.  She told me later she was crying out to God for me at this point when someone came walking towards me holding a gas can.  I told him that it was a problem with the starter.  He offered to jump-start it.  I told him that I didn’t think it would work.  I set my mind on pushing it home even though I was very tired.  My wife was listening to this whole conversation.  She told me that she and our neighbors had prayed that someone would help me.  She reminded me of the person on the roof of a house in a flood who told the rescue boat that God was going to take care of him.

I pushed my scooter into the man’s driveway.  He had jumper cables, and we connected the batteries.  The scooter started right away!

“Ask, and it will be given to you….”  Matthew 7:7

Do you often refuse help, like I was doing?  In my perfectionism I was too proud to accept help, thought I could do it myself without any help and thought that if I needed help I would be displaying weakness.  We want to think we have it all together and are not needy.  “No thanks,” we say, “I can handle it.”  Except, the fact is, everyone needs to ask and receive help.  We are broken creatures, even though we don’t want to admit it.  We do need help.  We need God’s help.  He often sends help by way of people.

Learning to humble myself (which is better than the alternative),

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

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76 Pain

The eighth secret to finding humility is Pain!

God is refining my thoughts about finding humility.  We cannot make ourselves humble, but we can humble ourselves under God’s mighty hand.  We cannot achieve a state of humility on our own, but we can place ourselves, with an attitude of humility, under His care and control.  We confess our sins.  We worship God and praise others instead of boasting.  We claim responsibility for our own mistakes.  We listen to God and obey what we learn from Him.  Of course, our obedience will not be perfect.  To be perfect is not our focus, listening moment by moment to what Jesus teaches us and learning to obey Him is.  Then we become disciplined in this practice just as we do when we practice tennis, typing, a new language or an instrument.

Pain, weakness and overlooking offenses are tools that God uses to work the discipline of humility in us.  We need to change our minds about them.  Our tendency is to avoid dealing with pain, weakness and offenses.  However, when we are in pain we can practice humility and crying out to God.

Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons.  For what son is not disciplined by his father?…Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it.  How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live!…No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful.  Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.  Hebrews 12:7, 9, 11

Pain can drive us crazy.  We hate pain.  We try to avoid it, but it keeps coming back.  We do many things to get free from pain; such as taking drugs or alcohol.  In perfectionism we attempt to overcome pain or else try to ignore it.  Yet, if we are honest, we have to admit we feel pain.  Really, though, pain helps us realize we need to make changes, that we need God to make these changes.  If we do not go to God with our pain, we will not be able to find freedom from it.  We may find temporary freedom, but not lasting freedom for which our hearts yearn.

Pain reminds us of how weak we are.  In our pride we resist humbling ourselves even under the onslaught of pain.  We need to let go of pride and cry out to God in the midst of pain.  “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; He delivers them from all their troubles.” (Psalm 34:17)  In crying out to God, we open our hearts to Him.  We need to seek His face and submit to His will for us, trusting Him with our circumstances.  He promises His comfort.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, Who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.  For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.  II Corinthians 1:3-5

Passing on the comfort with which I’ve been comforted,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com

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75 Overlooking Offenses

The seventh secret to finding humility is: Overlooking offenses.

A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense. Proverbs 19:11

Pride comes from shame. Shame affects how we view peoples’ behavior towards us. Pride makes us overly sensitive to offenses. When we are in our pride and shame we most often attribute negative motives to others and judge them. We want to correct those who have offended us and we feel impatient with them. However, we are the ones who need correcting when we judge others. We need to get the logs out before we attempt to correct anyone else. (Matthew 7:3-5)
Our own shame leads us to interpret others as being offensive. Shame comes from storehouses of memories in our hearts. These memories can trigger us by reminding us of times during which we felt shame. We do not need to consciously remember what happened in the past to feel shame in the present. Just knowing where shame came from can help us let go of it. The bad news is, we cannot free ourselves from shame. The good news is, by God’s grace and through humility, we can let go of shame.

The book Humility by Andrew Murray has given me powerful ideas. He says that we cannot make ourselves humble.  We cannot use these “secrets” of humility to make ourselves humble.  Rather, we allow them to highlight the ways in which we are not humble.  God alone works true humility in us.  “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom…But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of [rightness]” (James 3:13, 17-18)

When we realize that we have taken an offense we confess this to God, ask Him to free us and then ask Him to work His humility in us. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all [unrightness].” (I John 1:9)

Even if someone intentionally offends us, we do well to overlook it.  When we believe their view of us is less than what we think we deserve we try to improve how we look to them.  Catering to others’ opinions only has the opposite effect, however, and leads to a lower opinion of us in their eyes.  And when we feel offended, we tend to be offending towards others.  We become like Jesus when we remain silent in the face of unjust accusations.  We can choose, through His power, to overlook an offense. (Matthew 26:59-63)

Hoping I didn’t offend anyone by this post,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com

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74 Responsibility

The sixth secret to humility is taking reasonable responsibility.

Looking down on others lifts us up and gives us a false sense of self-esteem and security.  We try to define ourselves by our successes and not our failures.  We long to feel good about self and seek to maintain this positive view of self.  Yet, in seeking to maintain this positive view, we minimize our mistakes while maximizing our accomplishments.

When we humble ourselves and take responsibility for mistakes, we go against our shame and pride.  We need to keep in mind that God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble. (James 4:6)  In our natural selves, we want to take credit for the things we do.  Yet, “all that we have accomplished [God has] done for us.” (Isaiah 26:12)  The flip side of this is not taking responsibility for the offense.  We need to resist this bent.

In our perfectionism, there is also the risk of going to the opposite extreme; that is, we become overly responsible.  Over-responsibility also flows from our pride.  We over-estimate our capabilities and think we should have known better if anything bad happens.  We expect ourselves to avoid all problems.

We need to find the balance between these two extremes.  We need to acknowledge when we have been wrong without being grandiose about what we could have done differently.  Safe people help us in this process.  We need feedback about our behavior from others.

 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?  How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”  Matthew 7:3-5

Safe people have taken the logs out of their own eyes.  They gently help remove others’ specks.  They let us know the logs in our own eyes.  We have much to learn from them.  Eventually, as we learn to let go of our perfectionism and find true humility, we become safe people.  Humility will come when we find our identity in Christ and put to death what is not of Him, because our true life is in Him. (Gal. 2:20 & John 14:6)  Truly, finding our identity from our successes can only lead us away from Christ.

My protection and success come from God alone.  Psalm 62: 7 TLB

Letting go of my earthly identity,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


73 Boasting

The fifth secret to finding humility is:  Learning not to boast.

Now, brothers and sisters, I’ve applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, “Do not go beyond what is written.”  Then you will not be a puffed up follower of one of us over against the other.  For who makes you different from anyone else?  What do you have that you did not receive?  And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?  I Corinthians 4:7

Our hearts may feel empty and alone.  We try to fill ourselves with positive thoughts, but they don’t make us feel better.  We proceed to compare ourselves with others.  We may feel a little better, but comparison leads to pride and an inflated view of self.  Pride, at least, feels better than its flip side, shame.  We have learned to boast to keep ourselves in this “up” state.  This pride truly locks us into shame.  Humility helps us find genuine freedom.

We can so easily fall back into boasting.  Shouldn’t we get credit for the good we do?  We try to combat our shame by feeling good about our accomplishments but to no avail.  Instead, we need to take the path of humility so as to find relief from our shame.  If we humble ourselves before God, He will lift us up. (I Pet. 5:6)  We need to trust Him. (Prov. 29: 25)

We don’t even realize when we boast because it has become a habit.  It comes naturally.  We don’t think about our boastful thoughts as we constantly compare ourselves to others.  We rate ourselves based on these comparisons.

Alternatively, we can commend others.  We need to avoid our tendency to laud ourselves.  We need to look for the contributions others bring, tell them how they have enhanced the world around them and thank them for these contributions.  Instead of craving accolades let’s give them.  “Love your neighbor as yourself…and in humility value others above yourselves.” (Matthew 22:39…Philippians 2:3 emphasis mine)  Keep in mind, if no one repays the favor, great!  We then have an opportunity to humble ourselves.

Above all, we need to give the highest tribute to God.  He is the Author of everything good. (James 1:17)  Giving God worship, praise and thanksgiving will go against our tendency to credit ourselves.  Any qualities we possess (intelligence, attractiveness, athletic prowess, musicality and other talents), we received as gifts from God.

Acknowledging my tendency to boast,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME:  Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; reflecting the light we have received so that others can better see. We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to outline  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


72 Confession

The fourth secret to finding humility is confession.

Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.  The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.  James 5:16

Confession is humbling, especially for those of us who deal with perfectionism.  That’s why we hate the thought of it so much.  We don’t want to admit to ourselves that we have made a mistake, much less anyone else.  Confessing sin stretches our faith and powerfully opens our hearts to God through humility.  We need to humble ourselves in confession.  (James 4:8-10)

What do we need to confess?  We can confess anything which holds us in guilt—big things, little things, old or new.  Whatever may come to mind right now may be a subject matter for confession.  Confession gives us the opportunity to let go of a burden.  Even the seemingly most insignificant thing would be worth confessing if it would rid us of guilt.

But, what if we are not sure that what we did or thought really was sin?  We find that out in the process.  When we confess to God or one of His children, we can get valuable feedback.  This will clarify if what we did is truly wrong and we can get wisdom on how to reconcile or make restitution.  In addition, the one to whom we confess can declare us forgiven and thereby thwart the enemy’s attempts to condemn us later for a matter that has already been resolved.  What we did may not be wrong in a general sense but something about how we went about it at the time may have hurt someone in the process.  Even if not totally at fault, we can still offer a confession for our part, even if we only had 1% of the responsibility.

As I have stated before, we need safe people to whom we do the process of confession.  Safe people speak the truth in love and mercy.  If a person we know says that nothing we do is wrong or that we don’t need to confess, they are not speaking truth.  If people react to our confession with shame and condemnation, they do not love nor can they give us the mercy needed to walk out our process of restoration with God.  There are people who speak truth in love.  We need to spend time with believers.  We can begin this process of confession by risking something small in order to learn if a person is safe or not.  This assumes we know the person; we don’t divulge our life story on the first meeting.  Trust takes time to develop.

At some point, however, we need to take the leap and just do it, just confess and do it quickly.  In our perfectionism, we procrastinate.  We put off anything we don’t like.  We need to push through our resistance.  We need to put to death our pride.  Confession helps us with this.  Yes, it is humbling.  This is good.  Pushing through the fear of being humiliated in order to make a confession rewards us with freedom and true humility.  We feel much better afterwards.

Experiencing His grace through confession,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


71 Listening Obedience

Here is the third secret to finding humility:  Listening obedience.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.  Do not be wise in your own eyes… Proverbs 3:5-7

In our perfectionism we want to figure out The Right Course.  We want to do the right thing at the right time.  We use our knowledge, understanding and analytical skill to conclude what is right for any given situation in which we find ourselves.  However, our finite minds cannot know every applicable factor of every decision in every situation needed to resolve the difficult problems we face.  We cannot always analyze ourselves into the right path (road or way).  The Pharisees and Herodians tried to catch Jesus in His words, even though they knew that He was a man of integrity, not swayed by men nor paying attention to who they were.  They knew Jesus taught the way of God in accordance with the Truth. (Mark 12:13-14)  He is The Way.  Rather than solely using our own mental ability to make decisions, we need to listen, put our trust in and obey what we hear from Him.  Remember, He
is our Great Shepherd.  Listen and follow Him. (John 10:11, 14-16)

This listening and obeying requires humility.  In doing this we put more weight on God’s words to us rather than our own thoughts.  We naturally tend to give weight to our own thoughts while simultaneously discounting what Jesus speaks to our hearts.  We want what we want when we want it.  This often springs from wounded places in our hearts which entangles us with the flesh.

We need to let go of our natural tendency to put our voice above God’s.  Instead, we need to focus on our Shepherd.  This feels humbling. Really, though, we can’t escape being humbled.  It is better to humble ourselves rather than to be humbled.

Listening obedience requires discernment to enable us to distinguish who is speaking to us at any given moment.  The enemy masquerades his voice as the voice of God and constantly accuses and harasses us.  This is the very thing that gives him away, though.  Moreover, we need to keep in mind that when we try to listen to God we will “hear” thoughts from the world and our woundedness.  Familiarity with scripture and fellowship with other mature Christians can help us discern the voice of God from all the other voices in our lives.

A couple of days ago a friend of ours offered a great example of listening obedience.  Marguex had not been feeling well and it intensified on the weekend.  We had planned to have some friends over that day, this friend was among them.  We let them all know we couldn’t get together.  This friend decided to come over anyway.  She had heard, “What would you do if she was your sister?”  She brought over garlic, an avocado and two cooked corn-on-the-cobs.  This friend ministered empathy, friendship and prayer to us in a time of distress.  We enjoyed the food and were thoroughly blessed and our physical needs were met, as well.  Our friend listened to specific instructions from the Lord and obeyed.  For example, she bought and cooked two extra cobs of corn without even knowing why.  She obeyed the Lord’s command to love.

Learning humility in the obedience of others,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


70 Worship

So far we have seen that weakness is a secret to humility.  This is just a beginning; there will be more to come!  For now, let’s focus on worship as a secret.

“You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for You created all things, and by Your will they were created and have their being.”  Rev. 4:11

“Who will not fear You, O Lord, and bring glory to Your name?  For You alone are holy.  All nations will come and worship before You, for Your righteous acts have been revealed.”  Revelation 15:4

 Since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us…worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.” Heb. 12:28-29

Through Jesus…let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess His name.  Hebrews 13:15

We find freedom in worship.  When we are worshiping God, we feel joy and peace; our problems fall away; we don’t care about the next bill coming due; we are not filled with fear for the future.  Worship releases us from this world.

Sure, there are plenty of self-interested reasons to worship, but the bottom line best reason to worship God is because He deserves to be worshiped!

“You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power.” (Rev. 4:11)  We were created to worship God.  More than that, our purpose for living is to worship Him.  We belong to God, twice His:  1) He created us.  2) He redeemed us with Jesus’ precious blood.

In Jeremiah 15:21, He says that He will save us from the open, empty paw of the wicked.  He will save us from any evil, adversity, affliction, any badness, calamity, displeasure or distress from man or things.  We will be kept from exceedingly great and grievous harm, heaviness and hurt and from ill favor.  We will not be marked by mischief or misery, naughtiness or noisome conditions.  We will be kept from sadness, soreness, sorrow, trouble, vexation, wretchedness and wrong.  He will keep us from wickedness, the wickedly, the wicked one and the worst that could happen.  He will release, preserve, deliver by any means possible ransom, redeem and surely rescue us from the grasp of the terrible and mighty oppressor (our enemy and accuser).*  Jesus is Lord of Lords and King of Kings.  He requires our worship.  Moreover, His redeeming us makes our hearts sing!  Let’s honor His request and worship God, and serve Him only. (Matt 4:10)

We find true humility in worship.  Our natural state is pride.  The Israelites, like us, deluded themselves into thinking they had acquired the Promised Land themselves, without God’s assistance.  God had warned them against pride. (Deut. 8:10-18)  We need to let go of pride and embrace humility, humbling ourselves under God’s mighty hand so He will lift us up in the opportune or proper time. (I Pet 5:6)

Worshiping the King,

Noah and Marguex Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


69 Weakness

“Humility is honesty in action.”*  If we are honest with ourselves, then we would admit we are weak.  It is in weakness we find true humility.  We cannot make ourselves humble, but we can receive humility as a gift from the hand of God.

To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.  Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.  But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  II Corinthians 12:7-9

When we cry out to God, we humble ourselves before Him and He will meet us (Luke 18:1-8).  God may allow outrageous things in our lives to bring us to a place of crying out to Him.  In our pride we resist this process.  We need to let go of resistance toward God and instead submit ourselves to the Lord.  “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time.  Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.

“Be self controlled and alert.  Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.  And the God of all grace, Who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” (I Peter 5:6-10, emphasis mine)

We need to choose to humble ourselves, in order to put our resistance in the right place, toward the enemy of our souls.  We are unable to carry out the choice to humble ourselves without the Lord’s assistance.  The Lord brings truth to our minds—the truth of how weak we are.  When we own our weakness, we move toward humility.  Owning our weakness involves letting go of our pride which is the primary barrier to our humbling ourselves.  Obvious, I know, but worth saying (My wife often calls me “Obvious Man”—without the cape, of course).

The pride comes from our old self, our flesh.  Humility comes from our new self in Christ.  Christ was humble, and we learn humility from Him.  “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29)

Weak and finding His strength,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com

*Francis Frangipane 7-21-13 at River of Life Church, Cedar Rapids, IA.


68 Humility II

I have much more to say on humility and consider it such an important topic that I decided to write a second blog on it.

So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men.  I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full….But when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men.  I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full….When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting.  I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.  Matthew 6:2, 6 & 16

Humility includes being selfless and not looking for an earthly reward.  By seeking earthly rewards we strive to build ourselves up, promoting our positions and interests, looking for our agenda to be done.  True servanthood looks for God’s will to be done.  Even Jesus prayed, “Yet not as I will, but as You will.” (Matthew 26:39)

Of course we are selfish by nature.  That’s a part of being human!  And expecting ourselves to rid ourselves of selfishness is perfectionistic!  We are not able to make ourselves humble any more than we are able to make ourselves perfect.  If we were able to make ourselves humble, then we would really have something to brag about!  Rather, in placing ourselves under God’s mighty hand we allow Him to humble us.  Hear me out on this.  I know that I Peter 5:6 says, “Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God,” but God’s humbling of us is a process.  First, we need to realize how truly proud we are.  Our perfectionism belies our pride.  This is much easier for others to see about us than it is for us to see about ourselves.

The next thing we need to do is to let go of our pride.  We don’t want to.  We want to hold on to it for dear life, as if it is who we are.  Know this, our true self is in Christ.  Our identity is not found in our pride, but rather in Christ.  Only God gets to define us, to decide who we are.  In our pride we try to define ourselves as better than others, more deserving, better at following Christ, super-spiritual, etc.  We do so because we are still trying to prove ourselves worthy and this we can never do.  Our righteousness is in the blood of Jesus Christ, alone.  That is what the stories in the Bible are telling us.  God gets the glory, we are the goofs.  As long as we try to make ourselves right, we reject the blood of Jesus.  Jesus died so that we could be right, pure and holy—before the Father.  When God our Father looks at us, He sees us through the blood of Jesus. (II Corinthians 2:14-15, Ephesians 1:7)  We, however, try to improve on that image even.  There is no improving on the blood of Christ.  We need to imitate Him and that imitation is based in humility rather than pride.  We do not make ourselves brothers of Jesus; rather, we receive our new identity of being His brothers as a gift from God.

Humility is powerful.  When we are truly humble, we are equipped to resist the devil.  (I Peter 5:6-9)  Finally, we need humility not only to be able to rebuke the enemy, but more than that to receive God’s love, to draw near to Him.

Being humbled,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com

*From William Barclay, New Testament Words, p. 53.  The Westminster Press, Philadelphia, copyright 1964


67 Humility I

Two recent occurrences led me to think on humility.  One was a friend of mine at Bible study who said, “Pride will not enter the kingdom of God,” and a Bible study leader who told me that we must humble ourselves to hear God.  Often, in our pride, we are unable to hear God telling us He loves us.  Also, we think we deserve better than what we have received in life.  “If God really loved me, then He would not have X, Y or Z”—fill in the letters with how we think that God has disappointed us.

I have a deep and abiding understanding of this phenomenon.  I have wrestled with it most of my life.  “If God really loved me, He would not have let my mom die when I was eight and a half years old.”  Do you hear the case I was making in that?  Yes, it was really quite tough on me, but to say that God did not love me because my mom died makes my reality more important than that of the Living God, Creator of heaven and earth.  Do I really know better than God what is true?  We all need to humble ourselves before Him to receive His love.

For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.  Luke 1:14

…humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.  James 1:21

We resist humbling ourselves.  In America, we are so concerned with our rights.  Consider those who talk about abortion rights or the right to bear arms.  Without meaning to offend anyone, consider how we view these as rights.  Think of other things you consider your right to have, like, “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”.  We need to let go of an entitlement mentality and enter God’s mentality that He has for us.  Think of it—we do not have rights with Him but God loves us.  We need to humble ourselves before Him.  He knows what is best for us.  We need to trust Him in order to submit ourselves under His mighty hand.  He is completely trustworthy and does not change like a shifting shadow.  (James 1:17)

Do you want to be exalted?  Then humble yourself!  Even though this goes against the grain of our nature, we still need to humble ourselves because it is true.  Consider the alternative.  Go ahead and exalt yourself.  You will find yourself humbled by someone somewhere.  God is true to His word.  You can count on it.  What do you prefer, to humble yourself and be exalted, or to exalt yourself and be humbled?

When we humble ourselves, God meets us.  In humility, we place ourselves to receive from Him.  He has much to give to us but we cannot receive from Him when we are in a place of pride.  He gladly would give to us if we would but humble ourselves.  “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time.” (I Peter 5:6)

Wanting to be exalted,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


66 Caring for our Bodies

I have been listening with Marguex to a number of first-rate CDs, which discuss our mental, emotional and spiritual well-being.  I am surprised at how many different speakers make a connection between our physical/mental well-being and our emotional and spiritual well-being.  One speaker in particular stressed the connection between our minds and our bodies.  Daniel Amen, M.D. talked about the importance of water, nutrition, sleep and exercise to our emotional and spiritual health.*

After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church.  Ephesians 5:29

Christ takes care of us and assumes that we will take care of our own bodies as He cares for us.  Perhaps He was not anticipating the rise of fast-food restaurants and the many modern machines that make natural forms of exercise (such as chopping wood) unnecessary.  In America today we can live truly unhealthy lifestyles, and then go to the doctor to repair what might be wrong with us.  What would it be like if we tried to avoid the doctor?

Back to the CD to which we were listening, I will summarize what Dr. Amen had to say.  He talked of the importance of the quality of the foods we eat as well as the amount and type of exercise we do.  He acknowledged getting the proper number of vitamins and minerals is difficult, even with good nutrition, and so recommended taking a daily multi-vitamin, multi-mineral supplement.  If we had a perfect diet, then we would not need supplements, yet he said he does not know one person who has a perfect diet.  Eighty percent of the brain is water so we need to keep ourselves well hydrated.  We need to watch fats and get good oils in our systems.  And, by all means, we need to get good sleep because  it provides good blood flow to the brain.  Above all, do not be involved in brain-damaging activities.  Do not take the adage “using your head” literally.*

Putting our heads together, but not too hard,

Noah & Marguex Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

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*Daniel Amen, M.D., “Change Your Brain—Change Your Life”, Grace and Truth, AACC 2009


65 Brain Change

In learning new thoughts to replace our old, perfectionistic ones, we find our brains taxed.  Perhaps you remember hearing something like brain cells do not grow, we do not gain any more cells in our adult lives, or the saying “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”  Recent research totally contradicts these ideas.  Brain cells do in fact grow in adults!  Further, we can do things to aid their growth and retention.  Marguex and I recently listened to a talk in which the speakers identified three key factors in helping our brains to develop and retain new brain cells:  1) Exercise, 2) Learn something new every day and 3) Focus intently on a subject matter for 15 minutes every day.*

For physical training is of some value.  I Timothy 4:8

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice.  And the God of peace will be with you.  Philippians 4:8-9

I find interesting that these speakers dovetailed with the speaker we mentioned last blog.  Yet, both talk about focus with different terminology.  Like our bodies, our brains need to be exercised (use it or lose it).  In addition, physical exercise helps the brain increase the flow of oxygen to the brain.  This increased oxygen flow has been shown to actually aid the brain to repair after a brain injury.  How amazing is that?

So, the Creator put within our beings the ability to focus on what is right, pure and praiseworthy and have it actually heal our physical minds at the same time.

Yet we need to do more than just focus—we also need to learn new things—receive and hear new things.  Learning new things will give new brain cells something to do—namely, retain the new information we learn—put it into practice (again, use it or lose it).

We have used the excuse, “Old dogs can’t learn new tricks.”  We are no longer deceived.  It does not matter how old we are, we can always learn something new.

Learning with you,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com

*Donald & Jan Harvey, 2012 International Christian Counseling Conference of the American Association of Christian Counselors.


64 Thoughts

“Thoughts have the power to destroy us or bring us life.”*

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. II Corinthians 10:5

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.  Philippians 4:8

Perfectionism springs from our thoughts.  We decide what we want.  We make a plan.  We plot a course.  We figure out how we are going to get what we want.  When something interferes with our plan, we think all is lost or we attempt to blast through until we get our way.  If we fail, we blame ourselves.  We think that if we could have just come up with a better plan or else executed it better, we would have succeeded.  We think that it is all up to us to make ourselves succeed, and success is the highest attainment.

We need to change our thoughts.  We need to find Truth and let go of error.  We need the Word of God as our basis of truth rather than our system of perfectionism.  We created this system in our own minds; the Bible came from the mind of the Master Designer.

How do we change or take captive every thought?  Marguex and I were listening to a speaker who said trying to block thoughts does not work; the thoughts continue to exist in our brains.  Rather, we need to think new thoughts that then replace the old.  We need to give power over to truth in our minds (Jesus is the Truth).  We need to see truth as valuable.  What’s more, we need to get excited about truth!  We need to be enthusiastic about truth and give it affective vigor.*  I see an analogy in lawn care.  Fertilizer and water will make grass grow so that it crowds out the weeds.

The speaker continued to explain that our brains are naturally programmed to forget some things while remembering other things.  Weak thoughts are eaten away while strong thoughts are kept.  This occurs during our sleep.  The glial cells in our brains eat away the weak connections.  If we want to remember something, we need to form strong connections by having strong emotions about the thoughts we want to keep.  Strong emotions create strong connections in our thoughts.*

Think of something in your life that was intense.  How well do you remember it?  If you remember it well, it was because that event aroused strong emotions in you at the time.  Normally, everyday events do not provoke such strong emotion and so are difficult to remember long term.  Do you remember what you ate last week or last month?  If it was at a special event, you might remember because of the strong emotions you had with the event.  I remember almost 17 years later what I ate at our groom’s dinner: pepper steak.  I have already forgotten what I ate last week.

We need God’s truth to permeate our lives.  Verses that relate to our experiences in life elicit positive emotions.  We need to be open to God’s work through these positive feelings so that the word becomes deeply ingrained in us.  We need to focus on Who God is; think about His love as we reflect on His word.  Strong emotions associated with His word will help us to remember it.

Rejoicing in thoughts of heaven,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


63 Receiving God’s Love

For years I repeated to myself multiple times, daily, “God loves me.”  I was trying to convince my heart that God loves me.  I wanted to feel loved by Him!

This simply doesn’t work.  My experience shows that telling one’s self over and over again, “God loves me,” does little to help feel His love.  I did this for years!  Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results can be called insanity.  Why would I do something over and over again that was ineffective?  I did so because I was desperate.

We are desperate for God’s love.  We need to feel loved by Him.  We need to stop trying to convince ourselves and hear God say, “I love you.”  When I began to hear Him say that He loves me, all kinds of emotions rose up in me.  I felt incredible shame as my heart resisted the word of His love.  My heart also felt incredible joy.  At first, I struggled to hear His voice but hearing becomes easier with time.

How can we hear Him?  We can listen!  Here is an exercise:  God is speaking, “I love you.”  Read God’s message of His love:  Psalms 36:5, 57:3, 69:16, 145:13-17        Isaiah 54:10        Jonah 4:2

Lamentations 3:22, 32                Zephaniah 3:17                Matthew 5:44-45                Luke 6:35-36

John 3:16, 14:21, 23, 15:9-13, 16:27, 17:26        Romans 5:5, 8-10, 8:35, 38-39        I John 4:7-8, 16

Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for Him to act.  Psalm 37:7

We need to spend time with God, time to listen to Him and seek His face.  This does not happen instantaneously, it takes time.  God does love us.  He is unchanging.  We are the ones who need to change.  Ha, then I do need to change!  Yes, we need to change.  The problem is when we doubt God.  God is absolutely faithful, trustworthy and true to His word.  We are the problem when we doubt His word.

This can be a weighty word to put on those of us who struggle to receive God’s love.  We don’t need the shame, yet we need this truth.  Shame can hold us back from His love.  Again, we do not need more shame.  We do, however, need wake-up calls from time to time.  So—wake up!  God does love us!  We need to listen.  The thought that God is not loving comes from the enemy.  Hold on to truth.  Eschew lies.  Embrace this truth:  “God is love.”

At one time, I thought that God loved everyone except me.  Do you hear the arrogance in that?  What would make me so special that God would single me out not to be loved by Him?  The thought, “He does not love me,” shows a level of shame.  Remember, pride and shame are flip sides of the same coin.  Do you feel like I did, that God has singled you out not to be loved by Him?  Then please let’s let go of our pride and shame and acknowledge that the God of the Universe loves everyone.  Include yourself!

Embracing His love,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


62 As Is

[T]hink of what you were when you were called.  Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth.  But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.  He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before Him.  I Corinthians 1:26-29

Have you ever bought anything “as is”?  Homes typically sell “as is”.  Cars are often advertised “as is”.  Anything you get at a garage sale is “as is”.  “As is” implies no warranty.  You get what you pay for.  The item is used. Therefore, it has flaws.

God takes us “as is”.  We come to Him with all of our faults and frailties.  We are used equipment.  We have used ourselves and been used in sinful ways.  We have been “called out of darkness”. I Peter 2:9

Jesus purchased us with His precious blood; He did not demand that we be perfect.  He freely gave Himself for us.  “God made Him Who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.”  II Cor. 5:21

What a deal, what a bargain for us!  We are twice His.  He created us, and He redeemed us.  God takes us “as is”.

I heard Jack Deere say the following at a conference years ago.  We often feel that we first need to clean ourselves up before we present ourselves to God.  He encouraged us to come to God as we were and let Him clean us up!  That matches the Gospel.  We come covered with the effects of our sin, and God cleanses us.  He makes as a bride, a church without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, holy and blameless. (Eph. 5:25)  This is His work, through His blood, the blood of the Lamb.  We need to come to Him “As is”.

Enjoying the shower,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


61 Welcomed

Do you think, asks the Sovereign Lord, that I like to see wicked people die?  Of course not!  I only want them to turn from their wicked ways and live.  Ezekiel 18:23

Look!  Here I stand at the door and knock.  If you hear me calling and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal as friends.  Revelation 3:20

The Spirit and the bride say “Come!”  And let him who hears say “Come!”  Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.  Revelation 22:17

There is good news.  It is that we don’t have to pay for our redemption.  Jesus already did!  Not only are we eternally redeemed, we also have sustenance for life.  We are invited to “take the free gift of the water of life.”  God welcomes us into His Kingdom!  He sent His Own Son to die for us.  The Gospel, redemption and salvation are all God’s ideas.  God thought up the whole plan of salvation.  He wants us to come to Him.  He offers to us His free gift of life.

God also invites those of us who hear to invite others.  He wants more and more people to come to the party in Heaven.  “Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting:  ‘Hallelujah!  For our Lord God Almighty reigns.  Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory!  For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and His bride has made herself ready.’” Revelation 19:6-7  Heaven is going to be a party!

Yes, we need to repent.  Yes, we need to obey.  And yes, God realizes that our obedience is not going to be perfect.  God wants to have relationship with us, not just that we follow a bunch of rules.  He welcomes us into His kingdom.

For many of us, this may seem too good to be true.  Even though we know the Gospel, we try to earn our place with God year after year.  It takes time to really let ourselves bask in the knowledge of God’s goodness.  Resistance towards trusting God tries to grip our hearts.  We hear the lies of the enemy constantly questioning God’s word.  “Did God really say…?” is his watchword. (Genesis 3:4)

Know that God welcomes us.  We need to believe in God’s promise of life.  We need to resist the enemy’s lies.  We need to learn to open our hearts to receiving His love.  This will take time.  If we struggle with receiving God’s love, we need to hold on to the fact that we will someday be able to freely receive His love.  I struggled with shame and self-hatred for many years, and I still do, but I also am experiencing His love.  I hear His call, “Come!”  He is calling us, “Come!  You are welcome to the party!”

Tasting His goodness,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


60 Forgiveness

The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.  He will not always accuse, nor will He harbor His anger forever; He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.  For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.  As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.  Psalm 103:8-13

When we repent in Jesus’ name, God forgives us.  “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.”  God’s nature is to forgive.  Any thoughts to the contrary are lies of the enemy.  Do not listen to the enemy’s voice.  Listen to God’s voice.  He freely offers forgiveness.  My dear friends, I well understand that doubts arise about God’s goodness.  Doubt comes from our shame and self-hatred.  Shame and self-hatred speak lies to our souls.  The enemy uses shame and self-hatred to try to convince us that God is not kind and compassionate.  Please reread the scripture above.  This is truth.  We need to believe the Truth.  The enemy is full of lies.

We may not feel forgiven.  We need to base our faith on God’s word rather than our feelings.  Feelings can lie.  God’s word is true.  If we confess our sins in Jesus’ name, God forgives us!  It does not matter what we have done.  Saul had Christians stoned to death simply because they confessed the name of Jesus.  Jesus had mercy and revealed Himself to Saul.  Jesus changed Saul to Paul.  Paul became a great Apostle and writer of many of the books of the New Testament.  God forgave Saul.  He will forgive us.

God abounds in love for us.  We need to highlight in our minds:  God does not just have a little love; He abounds in love for us!  He does not eke out small amounts of love at a time.  He overflows with love and mercy toward us.  “God is love.” (1 John 4:8, emphasis mine)

We need to let go of doubt and think about God’s goodness.  We need to read the Word.  Meditate on passages that speak of His mercy, grace and love.  We need to fellowship with safe people.  We may experience doubt for a long time.  Shame feeds doubt.  Even though we let go of shame, it still sticks to us.  Healing takes a long time.  We need to be patient with ourselves.

Besides the above, some passages on which to meditate (If you don’t have time to look at all these verses, at least look at Ephesians 1:3-8):  Psalm 51, Luke 15:11-32, 23:34, Acts 10:43, 13:38-39, 26:9-18, Romans 5:5-10, Ephesians 1:3-8.  I have found these passages particularly powerful.

Basking in His compassion,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


59 Repentance

God’s kindness leads to repentance.  Romans 2:4

Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline.  So be earnest, and repent.  Here I am!  I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with Him, and He with Me.  Revelation 3:19-20

“God’s kindness leads to repentance.”  God loves us and woos us to Himself.  He wants us to repent for our own good.  Our lives are empty without Him.  God gives the only valid meaning for our lives.  We find the freedom to repent when we know that we are coming to a gracious and kind God Who wants to forgive us.  He is not going to shake a finger at us when we repent.  He does not add shame to our guilt.  When we repent, He forgives us rather than condemns us.  Condemnation comes from the enemy, not from God.

God will convict us of our sin, but conviction differs substantially from condemnation.  Conviction provides a knowing that we have done wrong.  Conviction may be accompanied by feelings of guilt and remorse.  Condemnation involves judgment without mercy.  Condemnation leads to shame and self-hatred rather than repentance and forgiveness.  Notice: Judas knew betraying Jesus was wrong.  He seemed to have felt conviction after the betrayal, but that quickly turned to condemnation after Judas went to unsafe people to confess his sin.  His condemnation led him to the ultimate act of self-hatred.  (See Matthew 27: 3-5)

Our Lord calls us to repent which means to turn away from our sins.  As He reveals our sins to us we can repent of them one by one.  We need to confess our sins to Him even though He knows what we have done already.  By our act of confession we bring our sins into the light.  We stop hiding what we have done.  Hiding only adds shame to our guilt.  In repenting we chose not to sin, but rather to obey.  Then we need to seek and receive His forgiveness.  “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (I John 1:9)

Consider the dominant motivation for our lives.  What moves us?  Why do we do what we do?  What purpose do we find for our lives?  Do we live for ourselves, or for our Lord?  We need to repent, to change, to do a 180 degree turn from how we have lived.  We need to turn from our self-directed lives and to turn to the Living God.  We need to turn to “Jesus, the Author and Perfector of our faith”. (Hebrews 12:2)  He is Lord of our lives which means He is our leader, ruler and authority.  He directs our lives.  He is the Master of our destiny.  We live for Him, and for Him, only.  “Seek first His Kingdom, and His righteousness.” (Matthew 6:33)  “First” here means the motivation that drives all other motivations.  “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.” I Peter 1:18-19

The Lord rebukes those whom He loves (Revelation 3:19).  “If anyone hears my voice….”  He is speaking.  We need to pay attention.  What He says may seem difficult at times, but He speaks to us in love.  The Lord shows us what “safe” really means (Ephesians 4:15).

Loved and disciplined,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


58 Mercy

Good news, bad news and the rest of the story, but background first.  I have been unemployed since November.  Unemployment provides less than half of what we really need to sustain our lifestyle.  My parents have been helping us pay rent.  Good news is that Marguex now has a job!  Bad news is that she absolutely needs a car with her new job, and our car is on its last three legs.  We could fix it, but do not think it is worth the money, potentially a couple thousand dollars, only to have it completely die in a few months.  It has over 200,000 miles on it.  Rest of the story: Friends of ours, wonderful, kind, generous bestest of friends, have offered to give us one of their cars!  Another couple, wonderful, kind, generous, bestest of friends (we are graced with good friends), have loaned us their car in the meantime!  God is good!

When we are broken we may doubt our standing with God.  We even wonder if we will be accepted into heaven.  These wonderings can leave us with tremendous feelings of fear and dread as we recall times when we have failed God.  We may even hate ourselves for the bad things we have done in life.  Be reassured, our relationship with God does not depend on our behavior.  Our relationship is built on His mercy.  Yes, He calls us to obey Him, and yes, He will forgive us no matter how many times we have sinned when we ask Him to forgive us.  “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (I John 1:9)

He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”  It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.  Romans 9:15-16

Regardless of what we have done or not done in life, we need to rely and trust in God’s mercy.  The Gospel, good news, is all about God’s mercy.  We do not redeem ourselves.  We are redeemed by the blood of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.  In our perfectionism, we tend to fall into the trap of believing that our acceptability depends on our performance.  We need to keep reminding ourselves God is full of mercy and compassion.

We would like to obey God which is good.  However, in our efforts to obey, we often lose sight of God’s mercy and grace.  Perhaps this saying will help: “Mercy! Mercy! Mercy! Grace! Grace! Grace!”

But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy.  He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit…. Titus 3:4-5  Mercy triumphs over judgment!  James 2:13  Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!  In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…. I Peter 1:3

Receiving His kind and tender mercy,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


57 Brokenness

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.  He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from the darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.  They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor.  Isaiah 61:1-3

Blessed are the broken, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Matthew 5:3

He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.”  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  2 Corinthians 12:9.

We are all broken.  All of us have “sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)  Some of us acknowledge our brokenness and some do not.  If we don’t acknowledge our brokenness, we act out of pride.  We hide behind a façade of capability.  This is not to deny that we are capable in some areas, yet we all have areas of brokenness and weakness, areas in which we have unresolved problems.  When we acknowledge our brokenness to God, He will come to our aid.  We are weak.  God wants us to acknowledge our weakness.  In this state He gets the glory for any growth in our lives. The Lord puts us on display for His splendor.

For those of us dealing with recovery from perfectionism this can feel painfully embarrassing.  We want to feel like we have it all together.  We want to be in control.  We want others to think highly of us.  We want to feel good about ourselves based on how we perform at any given task, but feeling good about ourselves based on our performance is fleeting at best.  We may do well today but what about tomorrow when we may fail miserably?  An identity based on a self-esteem manufactured from performance is a recipe for discouragement and heartache.  We need to base our identity on God’s view of us, rather than our performance.

We need to push through our embarrassment regarding our weaknesses and brokenness.  Letting go of our mask of competency in those areas where we are not competent will bring our hearts into the Light where they can grow.  God deserves the glory for all the good things in our lives.  Humbling ourselves before Him leads to healing.  When we acknowledge our brokenness, God gets the glory!

Broken and finding God’s glory,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


56 The Narrow Path

Enter through the narrow gate.  For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life and only a few find it.  Matthew 7:13-14

Jesus is “the Way, the Truth and the Life”.  John 14:6 

The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul.  He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.  Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.  Psalm 23:1-4

Jesus is the narrow path.  How do we live under Jesus’ Lordship and authority?  Matthew 7:12 gives a clue in this direction.  “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”

When we try to earn God’s love, acceptance and approval, we will veer from the narrow path.  At the same time, we disregard God when we use grace as an excuse to sin.  “Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God…What shall we say, then?  Shall we do on sinning so that grace may increase?  By no means!  We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?” (I Peter 2:16, Romans 6:1-2)  Herein we see the two sides of the narrow path, namely, grace and obedience.  In other words, one side is to receive grace and forgiveness as a gift, unmerited, undeserved and based solely on Who God is; the other side is to respect and revere God as Lord as shown by our obedience to Him.

If we are not trying to earn God’s approval, why obey?  Because God is worthy of our obedience!  Also, His love motivates our love in return.  “We love because He first loved us.” (I John 4:19)  Jesus parable in Luke 7:47 states, in essence, that those who are forgiven much love much.  When we encounter God’s love for us, we naturally respond by loving Him back which leads us to obey.  “If you love Me, you will obey what I command.” (John 14:15)

Trying to keep to the narrow road may seem like trying to keep rules which hold us in a double-bind.  If this is true it would only add to our perfectionism.  We need help to heal from perfectionism.  Paul in Philippians 3:12-14 states, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.  Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.  But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

Pressing on to know Jesus, my Lord and Savior,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

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55 First the Kingdom

The blood of Jesus cleanses us and makes us new.  We are precious, forgiven and holy in God’s sight.  He accepts us as His own children.  The blood of Jesus makes us a part of God’s kingdom.  What is this kingdom, anyway?  Kingdoms have kings and subjects.

“So do not worry, saying: ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”  Matthew 6:31-33

We typically hear the above verses in the context of God’s provision for our lives.  We hear the command, “Do not worry.”  However, for our purposes here, let’s focus on the directive, “seek first His kingdom and His righteousness.”  What does this mean?  The word for first in the original context, means above all else, not simply first in a long list of priorities.  Seeking God’s kingdom is to be over all of what we do, think and believe.  His kingdom governs our lives, not just in church, but wherever we are.  God is the King, and we are His subjects.  “Seek first His kingdom” implies obedience.  God instructs and we follow.

What then about the blood of Jesus, grace, forgiveness and freedom from performance?  All true, yet so is obedience to God.  Our obedience does not give us access to His kingdom.  We enter the kingdom because of His grace and forgiveness.  The basis of our relationship with Him is the blood of Jesus.  God favors us.  In His favor, He calls us to lay down our own self-directed lives and instead live for Him.  He knows that we won’t do this perfectly.  He loves us all the same.  Even knowing our imperfections, He still calls us to obedience.

Yes, God does call us to lay down our self-directed lives.  He does want to direct us and exert His will in our lives.  Remember the Lord’s Prayer, “Your kingdom come.  Your will be done.”  We do not pray for our will to be done, rather we pray for God’s will to be done.  The kingdom is primarily about God, not us.  We find this hard to take.  This does not focus on self.  We want what we want when we want it.  In our culture today we expect to have it “my way”.  The kingdom is about God’s way.  We need to surrender our will to Him.

This is not all bad.  In submitting to God, we find that He cares for us.  We surrender our plastic pearls to gain real ones*.  Jesus gives us real life when we surrender our pretend lives to Him.  In Jesus, we find our true selves.  We find who we were meant to be.  We find our destiny in God’s will.  To Him be the glory, His kingdom come, His will be done!

Learning to submit to the King,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com

http://www.skywriting.net/inspirational/stories/pearls.html


54 The Blood

As we walk with the Shepherd and hear His voice, we try to please Him in our old, perfectionistic ways. Healing from perfectionism takes many years because we think in terms of perfectionism. We do not even realize how often our thoughts turn to this idol. We need reminders of the truth of the Gospel. Remembering Jesus’ blood opens our hearts to receive healing from Him. The work of God through Jesus shedding His blood on the cross forms the basis for our relationship with Him. We forget this as we strive to please Him with our perfect behavior, good deeds and performance. The blood of Jesus and only His blood declares us right before God.

In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.  “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many,” He said to them.  [W]ho loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood…with Your blood You purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.  God presented Him as the One Who would turn aside His wrath, taking away sin, through faith in His blood.  He did this to demonstrate His justice.  Since we have now been justified by His blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through Him!  In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.  But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.  For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross.  For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, His body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith…if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin.  Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood you have no life in you.  Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.

Covered by the blood of Jesus, our Passover Lamb,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com

Hebrews 9:22, Mark 14:24 (see link below: Christ in the Passover), Revelation 1:5, 5:9, Romans 3:25-26, 5:9, Ephesians 1:7, 2:13, Colossians 1:19-20, I Peter 1:18-19, Hebrews 10:19-22 , I John 1:7, John 6:53-54

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CDsQuAIwAQ&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DgBGz3k37kDE&ei=ugxCUbOaDuf-2QXppYAQ&usg=AFQjCNEYeiVPvuB5lHLzLzwqbRcu818yaw


53 Glory!

When we walk with the Shepherd and listen to His voice, we find that He shares Himself with us.  He gives Himself freely to us, including His glory.  We rejoice as we receive His glory.

Father, the time has come  Glorify Your Son, that Your Son may glorify You….I have given them the glory that You gave Me, that they may be one as We are one: I in them and You in Me.  May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent Me and have loved them even as You have loved Me.  Father, I want those You have given Me to be with Me where I am, and to see My glory, the glory You have given Me because You loved Me before the creation of the world.  John 17:1, 22–24

I am the LORD; that is My name!  I will not give My glory to another.  Isaiah 42:8

God will not attribute His glory to another.  Jesus gives us the knowledge of His glory.  Moreover, He calls us to experience His glory.  He will sweep us up into God’s glory—Father glorifying Son and Son glorifying Father.  Jesus wants us with Him to behold His glory and attribute worth to Him.

God stretches and expands our capacity to glorify Him.  The Bible’s description gives us some understanding of God, yet our view is limited.  God is other—well beyond our imagination of Him.  “Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!  How unsearchable His judgments, and His paths beyond tracing out!” (Romans 11:33)  God alone completely understands Himself.  He alone can regard all of Who He is.  God glorifies Himself, and in His presence is glory!

We cannot comprehend His glory.  Even a small taste of God’s glory calls us to awe and amazement.  Awe opens us to receive more of God.  If in a state of awe we consider that our Father loves us as He loves the Son (John 17:23), we can feel exceeding joy.  Experiencing a revelation of His glory enables us to receive His love more deeply.  As we revel in His presence we are relieved of our shame and pain.  Allowing ourselves to experience God’s glory, magnificence, splendor, beauty, wonder, grandeur, brilliance and fame may initially elicit embarrassment, shame, self-hatred and resistance, especially if new to us.  We need to let go of negative feelings to allow ourselves enough freedom to experience His glory.  We may need to allow ourselves to do this in steps; experiencing His glory increasingly while our negative feelings dissipate by degrees.

God’s glory will eventually bring us as Christians to complete unity in His presence.  The enemy hates even glimpses of unity among Christians, and he accuses us one against another. (Revelation 12:10)  Jesus prayed for both protection and unity for us in John 17.  We need to join Him in praying this way, that God would protect us and fellow believers from the enemy.  We can take our example from the Lord’s Prayer which says “deliver us from evil [the evil one]”.

Delighting in snatches of His glory!

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


52 Walking with the Shepherd

We spoke of hearing Jesus as the Shepherd last blog. We hear Him in His word. We also hear Him through nature and people. What is more, He informs our hearts and minds.

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. Psalm 19:1-4

Jesus speaks. He speaks in nature. A thunderclap proclaims His power and majesty. Warm summer breezes tell of His gentleness. The brilliance of the Sun depicts Jesus. He is the light of the world. Black nights demonstrate the darkness of evil. The air about us reminds us of the Lord’s constant presence. The wind reminds us of the flowing of His Spirit into our hearts, bringing refreshment.

We can speak Jesus’ words, not only when we quote scriptures but as we live life. Obviously, Jesus will not contradict the Bible, His word to us. In addition, the Spirit gives wisdom and knowledge ‘for [our] common good’, so that we can strengthen, encourage, and correct one another. (I Cor. 12:7-8) He brings wisdom, knowledge and His refreshing and cleansing truth to our hearts. God created us in His image and snatches of His light appear through us, tarnished though His image may be. He utilizes us to speak His Word to one another. We need to listen to Jesus and what He may be speaking through each other. Therefore, we need to share ourselves with safe people and be safe people for others. As those struggling with perfectionism we, more often than not, try to do our relationship with God alone. We need input from others. I need and invite your feedback!

I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow My decrees and be careful to keep My laws. Ezekiel 36:27
Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by My Father in heaven.” Matthew 16:17
[N]o one can say “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. I Corinthians 12:3

God speaks directly to our hearts and minds. This isn’t just some mystical falderal. Our Western scientific mindset tends to discount God’s work in our lives. God can intersect our thoughts with His thoughts. As I Corinthians 12:3 shows, we come to faith through the Spirit’s intervention. We need to consider what God may be speaking to our spiritual ears.

We test what we hear by the Word and apply discernment as we walk with the Shepherd.

Getting my work out with the Shepherd,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


51 Hearing the Shepherd

Last May, I thought, “These blogs are God’s ideas.”  That same week, a college graduate spoke and said, “It’s all God’s ideas!”  That day at a concert, Benny Prasad said, “It’s God’s idea!”

You do not believe because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.  John 10:26-27

If we believe in Jesus, we are His sheep and can hear Him. Hearing Jesus is not mystical. Not hearing Him comes from denying His voice. Jesus speaks. We decide to hear Him or not. For a direct way to hear Jesus, open a Bible to the Gospels and start reading. He speaks throughout the Bible; His word. Jesus, our Shepherd, is the Word. (John 1)

Jesus wants us to hear and follow Him every day. He knows about everyone. “I know them” refers to a deeply personal knowing as in a marriage relationship. We respond to Jesus by asking Him into the depth of our being; our hearts. However, our relationship with Him will die if we do not spend time with Him. Jesus wants us to rest in Him, but not to be inactive. We rest as we walk alongside Jesus. (Mt 11:28-30) We can rest from the world and its striving. We can then seek Jesus and His peaceful knowing of the Father’s plans.

“Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.” (II Timothy 2:7) Today I felt drawn to I and II Timothy and found this verse. It matched what was on my heart. We hear the Lord as we read and reflect on His Word. When a verse in the Bible sparks interest, be still, ask God to speak and wait on Him. This quiet reflection allows our hearts to hear Him. We may experience a rush of emotions, especially if we tend to ignore them. Noticing this will free our hearts to hear from God. Jesus wants to speak to us wholly. We may not want to feel, especially our pain. However, our ignored emotions do not go away. As we feel and give our emotions to the Lord we learn to let go. In His timing He will give insight into our uncertainties.

Keep in mind, Jesus will not contradict His own word. Spend time reading the Bible. Get to know Him through His word. Knowing the Word will aid us in discerning His voice from our own voice, or even from the enemy or the world. The enemy wants to accuse and will do anything he can to confuse and lead us astray. The Shepherd redeems, enlightens and leads us in paths of righteousness. Fellowshipping with other Christians brings us back to the Shepherd. We need to dialog with others who are ahead of us in our struggles. Like sheep, we need to flock together. Pay attention when a metaphor, picture or song speaks to your heart; focus on what the Shepherd may be saying. He will reveal deeper meaning to His word.

Loving His voice,

Noah & Marguex Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


50 Peace

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you.  John 14: 27

Last time I said that self-acceptance was not possible and then gave you the above verse on peace.  Perhaps you wondered, “How do we get that peace that Jesus promises?”  That’s a huge question.  Here are a few ideas in response.  Peace could be defined as self-acceptance or even ‘no internal conflict’.  That theoretical state may be desirable, but is improbable.  Consider the battle Paul talks about in Romans 7; that battle with our flesh or old self.  Then, consider the external conflicts; issues we have with others.  Conflict is inevitable.

Internal conflicts often lead to intense emotions from which we seek relief.  Finding the peace that comes from an absence of internal conflict is fleeting, at best, especially for reflective people.  In perfectionism we seek to resolve all conflict by finding the solutions to all of life’s problems.  This shows how prideful, grandiose and self-idealistic we can be.  If we can’t find a peace from resolving all of life’s issues, then how do we find peace?  We need the peace that Jesus gives rather than a peace that we strive to manufacture within ourselves.  His peace surpasses understanding!

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:6-7

Emotions give us the energy we need to work through conflict when we find ourselves in conflict.  However, we sometimes cannot find solutions through the conflict in the moment of conflict.  Also, some internal conflicts follow us throughout life.  We need to talk through our intense emotions when we find ourselves ‘sitting and spinning’ or stuck in circular thinking, first with God and then with safe people.+

The above verses help us not only with anxiety, but also with any negative emotions.  As the old hymn goes, we need to “Take it to the Lord in prayer.”  We need to spend time with God, tell Him all about our struggles and ask Him for what we want and need.  He can say, “Yes.”, “No.”, “Not yet.” or, “I’m answering your request in this way.”  We invite God into our struggles and put our trust in Him, His resources, wisdom and guidance.  If we trust in our own resources we have reason to be anxious.  Subsequently, when we entrust our lives to God we need to thank Him for what He has already done for us.  In a posture of prayer and thankfulness we receive from God the peace that surpasses understanding.  He gives peace regardless of our circumstances and regardless of finding resolutions to conflicts.*

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true…think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8),

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com

+ See blog #19 for Safe People.  Here is a link to it:  http://wp.me/p1Z40K-2s

* Following is a link to the sermon from whence some of these ideas come:  http://www.vineyardop.org/resources/multimedia/details?id=185630


49 Self Acceptance Curveball

Dear friends,  if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God.”
I John 3:21

Seeking self-acceptance is a useless battle. Emotional healing does not come through accepting ourselves. Healing comes from accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior. We cannot heal ourselves. To try to do so would be wasted effort. Seeking self acceptance becomes a self-defeating trap. When we spend time and energy trying to accept ourselves, we frustrate, rather than heal, ourselves. Instead of striving to accept self, we need to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior—His will and His way. We may find partial success with self-acceptance initially, which encourages us to keep going, but we can never find it fully. Seeking to accept things about ourselves that we don’t like also leads to circular thinking.

For example, we do not like feeling emotional pain. We seek to stop feeling pain, don’t want to feel pain, and yet we do feel pain. We don’t like that we feel pain and do not like that we are so sensitive. People may not intend to hurt us, but we sometimes feel hurt by what they say. We may not like this about ourselves; we want to become less sensitive. However, in embracing the desire to not be so sensitive, we find ourselves rejecting our sensitivity and so not accepting self.

Alternatively, we choose to accept our pain and sensitivity and then we don’t accept the part of us that does not like pain and sensitivity, the part of us that wants change. We could try to be all-accepting of our own self, to try to embrace all of who we are, we could seek to accept that we feel pain, as well as not wanting to feel pain, but this solution does not feel possible. Intrinsic in feeling pain is the desire to not feel it. On an intellectual level we accept that we feel pain but in the feeling of pain we find the desire to not feel it! These two paragraphs demonstrate circular thinking.

The goal of self-acceptance is self-contradictory. The dictionary defines ‘self’ as “One’s total being” and ‘accept’ as “To receive willingly.” We feel pain, but not willingly. We definitely don’t want to get stuck in pain. On an intellectual level, we willingly understand that pain is a part of life. But on an emotional level, we feel the drive to rid self of pain. Internal conflict leads to feelings of pain, shame and other negative emotions which we seek to eliminate to obtain a state of inner peace. Negative emotions reveal problems.

Actually, I feel more self-accepting when I let go of striving to accept myself!

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. John 14: 27 (emphasis mine)

Learning to rest in His peace,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


48 Belief

We spoke on Faith in blog 10, January 2012. As I said in that blog, faith (belief) helps us to receive healing from God. We need to believe what God promises us and receive it in faith. Recent events brought the import of faith to our attention. Last summer, Marguex reflected on John 14-17. An idea Jesus repeats to his disciples there is, “And I will do whatever you ask in My Name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask Me for anything in My Name, and I will do it.”

Recently, we experienced encouraging events which stimulated our faith. We were sick at the time, and that was just after having returned from a house and dog-sitting trip to my sister’s home. We had packed bags sitting in our bedroom.

While Marguex lay in bed, she took off her earrings. One of the backs fell out of her hand and bounced off her shoulder onto the floor. These earrings came from an expensive set I bought her as an extended wedding present (necklace for our first Christmas as a married couple, one earring for the anniversary of when we were engaged and the other earring for her birthday). Marguex treasures this set. The back is a screw on so that she doesn’t lose the earrings. We searched all around the bed, under it, on the side table, moving things aside, looking on and between several layers of covers. At the time Marguex had in her mind, “I’ll never find it.” I prayed and looked some more. It was late, and I said I wanted to give up for the night and look the next day.

Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, “Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.” Luke 15:8-9

The next day brought more frustration. This disheartened Marguex because she has lost a precious claddagh ring since moving to Missouri and these earrings were particularly dear to her. She doubted we would find the back rendering the earrings relatively unusable. God then called a lesson to her mind, pray while applying Philippians 4:8ff to God in her heart, “whatever is true, He loves me; whatever is noble, He would want me to find my earring back—I mean, after all, didn’t Jesus have a whole parable on a woman searching for her lost coin”. So she asked the Father in Jesus’ name this time believing that He would actually like to help us find it. She then asked me to pick up the suitcases. I lifted them up, and there was the backing! The earring back had been on the other side partially underneath the soft sided bag five feet away from where Marguex had seen it drop off her shoulder.

If you love someone you…will always believe in him, always expect the best from him. 1 Corinthians 13:7 TLB

Yesterday, on our Quiet Times for Couples calendar by H. Norman Wright we saw the above verse which gave us new insight. Can this verse apply to how we view God?! Three months ago we heard a sermon which led us to an interesting article on faith by Rich Nathan. It describes three types: 1) saving faith, 2) persevering faith and 3) mountain-moving faith. We receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior with saving faith. Through the struggles in life when doubts about God surface, we hold onto Him with persevering faith. We pray and believe God will act with mountain-moving faith (from Matthew 17:20). I could say Marguex had earring-moving faith!

Relying on His goodness,

Noah & Marguex Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


47 Metaphor

It has been a month. Good to be back.

God wants relationship with us. We are clay in His hands. Yet He does not just want conformity; He wants dialog. He speaks to us in His word. The Bible reduced to theology is dry and boring. Metaphor, story, beauty and music bring theology to life. He uses pictures to speak to our hearts. For example, in the last post on the plate analogy, Christ was portrayed as “Rock”. (I Pet. 2:4-8)

Some examples of metaphor in the Bible include: baptism and communion, cross, dove, milk and honey, rainbow, oil and water, wind, rain, fire, door, gate, sheep and shepherd, potter and clay, friend, lover, bride and bridegroom, stars and sand, throne, river, gold, the body as a temple, the temple as a Body. The list goes on and on…

Christian artists have experiences with God’s creation. They create expressions of how their hearts have been touched to bring the awe of their experiences to others. These expressions enhance our experience of worshiping God and help us to feel closer to Him. Christian art is metaphor.

We use our God given imaginations to capture the meanings behind metaphors. What does God use to speak truth into your life? Perhaps you imagine Jesus knocking at the door or you see in your mind’s eye His Word as a two-edged sword. God uses metaphors to speak a deeper truth. When Marguex was a child, she would look at the cross on the front wall of the sanctuary. She could see in the way the lighting hit the back wall the body of Christ in shadow form. This was before she knew of discussions of Christ being depicted on or off the cross. All she knew at the time was His presence and His work of taking her place. And she was grateful and comforted. Therefore, with our imaginations we can experience, not simply think about the meaning God speaks to us.

The Sea stood on twelve bulls, three facing north, three facing west, three facing south and three facing east. The Sea rested on top of them, and their hindquarters were toward the center. It was a hand breadth in thickness, and its rim was like the rim of a cup, like a lily blossom. It held three thousand baths. 2 Chronicles 4:4-5

God abhorred the golden calf of Exodus because the Israelites were defying Him and chose to replace Him with this idol. The calf was a raised fist saying to God, “We don’t need You because You do not act fast enough.” In contrast, the bulls holding the bath depict the patience of very strong creatures waiting on God Who Himself demonstrates tremendous strength and patience. Imagery in its non-idolatrous form exhibits the majesty and beauty of our Maker to Whom we look for strength and guidance. Imagery which is idolatrous points us away from God.

We need reminders of our faith. “Do this in remembrance of Me.” (Luke 22:19) Do we have things which remind us daily of God’s wonder working power? Perhaps the above list of Biblical metaphors will open our eyes and hearts to see how the heavenly Father wants to speak to us. His language of metaphor speaks love to our hearts.

Looking for His metaphors,

Noah & Marguex Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


46 Plate Analogy

Letting frozen emotions thaw elicits fear in us because our emotions feel so raw and out of control.  We fear what we might do if we let ourselves to experience our feelings.  We reason, “I need to control myself!”  However, control does not work.  We cannot stop ourselves from feeling altogether.  Moreover, emotions energize our lives.  Existence without emotions becomes dull, dry, boring and lifeless.  Then how do we do life in the midst of feeling out of control?

Holy Father, protect them by the power of Your name—the name You gave Me—so that they may be one as We are One…My prayer is not that You take them out of the world, but that You protect them from the evil one.  John 17:11, 15 (emphasis mine)

God gave me an analogy to help me sense His protection.  I received it while carrying a bowl of soup back to my desk on my lunch break.  For many years, ramen noodles have been a regular part of my lunch at work. One of my employers provided paper bowls—you know, the ones with wax to stiffen them—which I used for my soup.  These bowls were flimsy and made spilling easy.  Using a plate underneath the bowl, however, provided protection from spills.  This led me to the plate analogy.

You see, while walking back to my desk I realized that Jesus provides a huge “plate” under my life.  This holds true for all of us who rest in Him.  Whatever we may “spill”, mistakes or even willful sin, Jesus has already taken these into Himself.  “God made Him Who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Cor. 5:21)

Jesus prayed for our protection.  He also gave us the privilege of praying in His name.  Whenever we feel afraid or out of control we can pray to the Father in Jesus’ name. (John 14-17)

Cast all your anxiety on Him, for He cares for you. I Peter 5:7

Learning to rest on Jesus and let God be God,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


45 Frozen Emotions

When we rest we find awareness of our deep thoughts and feelings.  When we have pain and unresolved issues, we often stay busy to numb ourselves from them.  Busyness wars against our spiritual life.  As we allow thoughts and feelings about our pain and issues to surface, we need to open ourselves to hear from God.  We need to invite Him into the deep places of our hearts.  In the place of being still, we cry out to God and receive His Spirit.

Surely, You desire truth in the inner parts; You teach me wisdom in the inmost place.  …Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.  Do not cast me from Your presence or take Your Holy Spirit from me.  Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.  Psalm 51:6, 10-12

When we shut down our emotions, we block the Holy Spirit.  Jesus, through His Holy Spirit, is a Gentleman.  He knocks at the door of our hearts, but doesn’t enter unless invited. (Rev. 3:20)  When we invite the Holy Spirit to go into the recesses of our hearts, we need to be open to experiencing His comfort and attending emotions.  We may want to numb or ignore our emotions.  These emotions can become “frozen” when we choose to barricade them from our awareness.  As children we learned this strategy to cope with the unruliness of our emotions.  The barricades led us to numb or disregard our emotions.  However, God has given us our emotions to work through problems.  Ignoring emotions does not make them go away.  Our emotions are a part of us and not separable from the rest of our being.

When we become aware or present to our emotions we give God access to them.  We cannot heal ourselves, but we can block healing.  We want to experience joy, but we need to work through pain to get to joy.  At times we will experience pain followed by times of joy and release.  God does not hold us in pain.  We might hold ourselves in pain.  He wants to heal us.  We find support from God as we cry out to Him.  Moreover, we can find people who support us.  They can help us discover new ways to break through our barricades, experience our emotions and then manage them.  We need support from safe people.  We cannot heal alone.  We trust and depend on God alone and receive people only as servants from His hand.

As an example, after years of opening myself to God’s healing, I still had frozen emotions.  I acted in anger without feeling it.  With encouragement, I attended an anger management class led by a safe teacher (a safe person and servant from God’s hand).  In an exercise from the class (STOP exercise, a helpful tool), I found that I did have anger!  Over the years, I continued the exercise and discovered other deep emotions and their roots.  As I heard God speaking His love over me, He worked a deeper healing within my heart.

Warmed by His embrace,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


44 Strive to Enter

Strive to enter His rest. Hebrews 4:11

This verse seems to be contradictory. Which is it? Should we “strive” or “rest”? We need to “strive to enter His rest” because we continue to work even when we could be done for the day. We give ourselves permission to rest only when we feel exhausted. Why rest? We rest because in resting we acknowledge God’s work in us. Our rest says that Jesus’ work on the cross was good enough. In rest we worship God.

“Strive to enter His rest.” We like to work. We want to prove ourselves worthy of His love! Yet God’s love leads us to humble ourselves before Him and receive salvation as His gift to us.

“Strive to enter His rest.” We don’t like these words. It’s too easy to rest. We want to rest, don’t we? It’s not so bad, after all! Resting even feels good! We like it! Why didn’t we try this, sooner? We need to develop rest as a new habit. But the minute we rest, we realize our restlessness. We don’t like how we feel when we rest. Rest seems unattainable. How can we rest when our minds will not allow rest? Our bodies want rest. But we have the habit of work. Resting seems so unnatural and wrong. We find that we want to rest much of the time. How about all of the time? Do we need to see a doctor? The doctor says we are fine, nothing to worry. That’s just it! We habitually worry! We need to do something about our worry! What can we do? We need to change our thinking!

“Strive to enter His rest.” After our bodies have received some sleep, our minds wake us. We lie awake at night worrying about our days. We feel tired during the day, but push ourselves to keep working. At night we sleep for awhile, then awaken and start the cycle all over again.

“Strive to enter His rest.” These words mock us. We get irritated with the words and the God Who said them. Do we join Job in His complaint against God? Do you see us, God? Take pity!

“Strive to enter His rest.” We are convinced, but how to we enter His rest? This world is crazy, full of sin, evil and disorder. Life keeps getting more difficult and hope seems elusive.

“Strive to enter His rest.” God is serious. He has given us His word. He keeps speaking to us, if only we will slow down long enough to listen. Will we listen? Will we believe God? Will we trust Him to take care of us? God has done the work, already. We just need to enter. We don’t like this answer. Back to where we started. Who will rescue us? God is rescuing us. We are learning to receive His love and loving Him in return. “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:28-29

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


43 God’s Work

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, Who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made Him Who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Cor. 5:17-21

Jesus blood cleanses us so that “in Him we might become the righteousness of God”. We cannot add to the blood; we can only receive it in faith. We diminish our view of the blood if we think or act like we need to add to it. When we strive to reconcile ourselves to God, we fail to recognize that the blood of Jesus is completely-sufficient to reconcile the world to Himself.

May the God of peace, Who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing His will, and may He work in us what is pleasing to Him, through Jesus Christ, to Whom be glory forever and ever. Hebrews 13:20-21

God is the One to “equip [us] for doing His will” and to “work in us what is pleasing to Him”. I heard Dan Juster say it this way, “Our ability to obey is not from the Law, but from being connected to the Vine.” We are being transformed by God through our relationship with Him.

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him Who called us by His own glory and goodness. 2 Peter 1:3

Power to live the Christian life comes from God. God is powerful and able.

And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, Who is the Spirit 2 Cor. 3:18

We “reflect the Lord’s glory”. The glory comes from God; we simply receive it and pass it to others. We are “being transformed”. Notice the verb tense in Romans 12:1-2 is passive.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not us. 2 Cor. 4:7

The power, glory and credit all go to God. He even gives us the faith to believe in Him! Eph 2:8-9

A “jar of clay” containing His glory,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


42 Lawlessness

As we let go of rules and learn to trust God instead of our own performance, we can go from legalism to lawlessness. Even in legalism we can be rigid about some things and very lax about other things. We need to find moderation, letting go of overly high expectations while listening to God and obeying Him.

Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. But you know that He appeared so that He might take away our sins. And in Him is no sin. No one who lives in Him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen Him or known Him. 1 John 3:4-6

“Continues to sin” in the Greek implies a constant and habitual practice of sin, seeking to sin rather than avoiding it. Yet, even in our avoiding sin we can fall into another trap. This trap is struggling against sin and seeking to become free in our own power. We need God’s power (next blog) to be free.

We practice lawlessness when we misuse freedom and put ourselves above the law, thus giving our legalistic enemy the right to hold our sin against us. This leaves us open and vulnerable. He is a beguiler and wants “to steal, kill and destroy.” (John 10:10) He will take advantage of our every vulnerability. We delude and put ourselves at the mercy of the father of lies when we say, “Oh, I can get away with it this one time.” When we sin, we give inroads to the enemy’s condemnation. For example, an apartment complex may have a walking path which says for residents only. Non-residents may rationalize walking it, but they make themselves trespassers. Rationalizing opens us to the enemy’s arrows. We need to be aware of his wiles.

Even small temptations can lead to lawlessness. In all the above keep in mind, conviction comes from the Holy Spirit and condemnation comes from the devil. “When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.” (Romans 6:20-22) God wants to forgive us and to give us His peace! “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9) “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and He will come near to you.” (James 4:7-8, emphasis mine) God made a way for us. We need to live in Christ and walk in the works He prepared for us in advance to do.

Learning to submit to the Master,

Noah & Marguex Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


41 Rear View Mirror

Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of [perfection].  But one thing I do; forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.  Philippians 3:13

I write this e-letter for those of you who are at an advanced stage in your healing process.  The rear view mirror is an analogy that I am just coming into after 27 years of being on the journey of recovering from perfectionism.  For those of you who are not ready for this yet, put this e-letter on the shelf of your memory banks to pull out again at some future time.

The rear view mirror is our past.  We look at it to remind ourselves of where we have been.  We look through the windshield to see where we are going, what is ahead.  We drive towards what we see out the windshield.  We drive away from what is seen in the rear view mirror.

Some of you are at a stage in your healing where you need to pull your car over to the side of the road, put it in park and stare in the rear view mirror.  You have issues from your past you need to work through.

Those of us who truly are ready (chomping at the bit) to move on in our process, who have already worked through these things, we still remember.  They are still a part of us.  We still feel the sting of those past wounds; not like we used to feel them, but we still can feel the pain if triggered by a memory of the past.  Our past is still a part of us in this life.  “There” is heaven.  We do not get to a point where we stop feeling pain in this life.

However, we put it in perspective by looking in the rear view mirror while glancing ahead and around us.

The rear view mirror allows us to be aware of our past while driving away from it. Eventually, we need to take our focus off of the past and look towards the future.  Paul said, “forgetting”, not forget.  He did not mean to forget, never to remember again.  Rather, he knew that forgetting is an ongoing process.  Today we need to forget, tomorrow we will need to forget and a year from now we will still need to forget.  Ten years from now we will still be in the process of forgetting.  We need to keep forgetting because our brains are designed to remember.

Remembering need not be awful.  For example Jesus wanted us to remember Him (see Luke 22:19).  We need to remember scriptures.  We need to remember why we believe.  We need to remember one another.  We need to remember the poor.  We need to remember to entertain strangers.  We need to sort through what we need to remember and what we need to forget.  If there is something from your past that keeps coming back, you need to put it in the rear view mirror.

Looking forward, straining towards what is ahead,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


40 How Did We Get Here?

Whoever welcomes a little child like this in My Name welcomes Me.  But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.  Matthew 18:5-6

Past e-letters have talked about some of the signs and effects of perfectionism and ideas for healing from perfectionism.  How did we get here in the first place?  Why are we so perfectionistic?

The simple answer…shame.  Shame drives us to perfectionism because we strive to rid ourselves of the selfsame shame through performance.  Shame feels like guilt, and so we conclude that we can deal with shame as we deal with guilt.  This does not work because shame has a completely different source than guilt.  We deal with our shame by trying to atone for the bad feelings in our souls.  We think that if we act in new and “right” (in other words, self-righteous) ways, our shame will go away.  When the shame does not go away, we conclude that we did not find the right way.  We then seek even more diligently to find ways that will work in ridding us from this internal feeling of badness.

How did we come by these feelings of badness or shame?  We perceive shame subjectively.  Much of it came from our childhood.  We experienced shame when others sinned against us; examples are physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, abandonment, excessive punishment, harsh words, lack of love and affection, which all scar a child’s soul.  We also experienced shame through our own sin.  Even though we confess and receive forgiveness the Accuser still condemns us for past sins.

I give you the following example from my adult life.  When I am with people and they laugh, I sometimes personalize it and think they are laughing at me.  When I do something goofy and someone laughs, I feel shame.  My wife and I have talked about this extensively.  I appreciate her perspective.  When she is with me and laughs at my goofiness, she wants to laugh with me.  She is celebrating me.  She has a loving attitude towards me.  Laughter for me can be a trigger by reminding me of others laughing at me when I was a child.

What triggers our shame?  Knowing our triggers helps us deal with our shame.  Understanding triggers gives us insight into the source of our shame.  The presence of these triggers indicates unresolved issues.

We want to run away from our shame, hide it or push it away.  None of these tactics work.  We need to deal with the roots of our shame.  Ultimately, we need to forgive those who hurt us.  Keep in mind that forgiveness is a process and can take much time, especially for those of us who experience horrendous abuse and neglect in childhood.

We have much to learn about the roots of our shame.  The above is only an introduction.

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


39 Inviting God

Last time we talked about an alternative to perfectionism. Part of finding an alternative involves prayer and listening to God. Here are some thoughts on prayer.

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with Me. Revelation 3:20

In attending a workshop entitled Scripture-based Prayer as a Counseling Intervention with Kathryn A. Steele from New Orleans Theological Seminary, I (Marguex) heard Kathryn say that inviting the Lord into our times in meeting with others can be powerful. She was speaking to those of us who work in helping others to see God’s way through the hurts and troubles of life. As she spoke these words I was reminded of the truth that was spoken to me in my process of healing. God is a gentleman. In the above verse we do not read, “I burst the door in and take over.” He waits for us to hear His knock and open the door. My mother had a depiction of this verse on the wall in our dining room. There is no handle on the outside of the door on which Jesus knocks.

This is a powerful truth. God will not grab control. He waits for us to yield to Him. He then indwells us. He fit us perfectly. As we contrast this with the times we have given ourselves over to the enemy’s control, we see the great difference. The enemy grasps and grabs for control, taking what he will with legalistic vengeance when we offer our mortal bodies over to wickedness in any way, shape or form. His “fit” only brings ill health in our beings. Again, as we yield to God, He brings our life into alignment with His will (the works He prepared for us to walk in, Eph. 2:10). Just as our physical back can be brought into alignment and causes other ailments to cease, God continues to align us internally, thoroughly so we walk uprightly.

So, having this concept in mind, as I was listening to Kathryn, I was realizing that what she was saying about inviting God into the process was profound. What if that is what prayer does? If God is a gentleman, then is He waiting until His people call Him into situations in this world? Is this why He wants us to pray? Is it why He said, “If my people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from Heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land”? (II Chronicles 7:14) Will our land only be healed if we cry out from our hearts? (Hosea 7:14)

Do we, as His people, stay the hand of God? Can we, as His people not only move the heart of God? More, can we move His hand? Keeping in mind that He is a gentleman let’s pray that we do His will here on earth as the angels do His will in heaven.

Inviting Him into our world,

Marguex Woodrich (and Noah, too)

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


38 An Alternative

We do not need to live according to perfectionism, anymore.  The alternative is living in God’s love.  In Him we find freedom from the grasp of perfectionism.  We can learn to stop agreeing with and let go of holding on to perfectionism.  Let’s not be so harsh on ourselves.  New ways of thinking and acting take time.  It took us copious amounts of time to get here.  It takes time to unlearn old ways and relearn new and healthy patterns.  Jesus offers hope–real hope.  His transformation lasts.

Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.  Matthew 11:28-30

Perfectionism is a monster.  Do not let it eat you alive.  Ask God for help.  He will show you a new and more abundant way.  “’Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline.  So be earnest, and repent.  Here I am!  I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with Me.’” Revelation 3:19-20

Consider the alternative to perfectionism.  Imagine life based on love rather than fear.  Consider living in relationship rather than living by rules.  Think about a life full of joy and hope rather than frustration and pain.  Consider what life would be like if we didn’t present ourselves to the monster and jump into its cavernous jaws.

We need to let go of self-criticism and regret over past failures.  Wishing we could have done it all differently does us no good.  When we catch ourselves second-guessing the decisions we have made in life say, “God’s love for me is unconditional.”  This idea helps me:  I needed to go through what I did, including all the decisions that I made, in order to get to where I am today.  If things had been different and I had made different decisions, I would not be who I am.  I am learning to like myself.

Dream with me.  Picture yourself free of self-criticism, regret and second-guessing.  Picture yourself free from harsh rules and standards.  Picture yourself no longer in the grip of perfectionism.

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.  I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.’  The Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him, to the one who seeks Him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.”  Lamentations 3:22-26

You need to decide either to hold onto perfectionism or else to let go of it.  This is simplistic.  We are not able to let go of perfectionism any more than an addict is able to let go of the addiction.  Yet, acknowledging our perfectionism and deciding to let go of it forms the first two steps in the journey away from perfectionism.  If you haven’t already, will you take those first two steps?

Finding rest and peace in Him amidst life’s struggles,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


37 The Monster

Perfectionism is a monster. Extreme words, yet well deserved. Perfectionism saps our life. Perfectionism kills hopes and dreams. It tears down faith, replacing it with doubt and fear. Perfectionism promises to help us yet leads us to hesitate at every decision. It demands us to agonize and worrying over small things only to find later they weren’t such a big deal.

Perfectionism tells us we can earn the love and approval we so desperately crave. If we follow the right rules we will be successful. It entices us with an illusion of control. It deceives us into believing; if we just come up with the right plan and work hard enough our future will be bright and glorious. It then it robs us of time and energy without delivering on its promises. Perfectionism promises order and an illusion of peace and delivers frustration and regret. Perfectionism says if we live right, do what we are supposed to do when we are supposed to do it, then we be rewarded. When we aren’t we conclude that we did something wrong.

The truth is we cannot ever live “right enough”. The standard will keep on rising. In our striving and competition we will keep finding others who are better, stronger and faster than we are. We find ourselves outperformed. We feel defeated.

I lived with perfectionism most of my life. In childhood, I did not have a grasp that Jesus was my Savior while I was trying to make Him Lord. I sought to serve Him with no apparent success. I craved joy and peace of which I experienced very little. I figured that was because I didn’t love God and others as I should. I would try really hard but ended up feeling angry at others and then at myself for being angry at others. I couldn’t measure up. I felt like a failure.

Fast forward three decades. When I would feel sick, my wife encouraged me to take a day off so as to recuperate. “But I’m not that sick,” I would say while wondering if I was sick enough to take the day off. She would plead with me saying, “You need to take the day off so you can get better.” I would go to work anyway, coughing and sneezing, with a dripping nose and say, “I don’t feel so bad.” I took three handkerchiefs with me and found I needed another. Upon waking up one morning I was so sick that I worried I wouldn’t make it through a workday. I didn’t even want to get up to go to the restroom, much less go to work! I made the call. My boss said, “Hope you get to feeling better.” I hung up the phone. Relief swept through my body! I actually took the day off! I thought, “How bad do I need to feel to call in sick?”

Life does not need to be like this. We can find freedom from perfectionism, stop agreeing with its lies and let go of it. We need not to be so harsh on ourselves and learn that new ways of thinking and acting take time. Jesus offers authentic hope. Ask God for help and He’ll show the way

Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30

Being rescued from the maws of the Monster,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


36 Barriers

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life…An offended brother is more unyielding than a fortified city, and disputes are like the barred gates of a citadel. Proverbs 4:23, Proverbs 18:19

As stated previously, boundaries provide structure and support to our lives. Nonetheless, boundaries need to be flexible enough to allow ebb and flow in relation to others. Rigid boundaries do not allow good in and bad out; they put up barriers of self-protection around our souls.

In reality, we need to guard our hearts and keep unsafe people from muddying our wellsprings. Pleasing or placating others can break down our boundaries and may leave us vulnerable but the alternative of blocking all people totally out of our lives in our attempt to keep ourselves from being hurt is not the answer. We do not want the wellsprings of our hearts muddied by those who would use or harm us, but to put walls around our hearts that close out any interaction with others can lead to a hardened heart. Consequently, we need to be flexible and open. This is especially true in relation to the Lord. We need to receive the good things He has for us and pour out the bad things to Him in prayers and petitions.

Also, God will bring to us safe people. Together, we will speak His Word in love to one another, listen to one another and will hear Him and be knit together. The Lord will breathe life into our aching hearts. He will meet us with His power and love. We need to receive His life, power and love. Our barriers to Him and His body block His goodness from coming to us. We need to let go of our barriers.

Letting go of our barriers may seem really scary. We have trusted our barriers to protect us. “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.” (Proverbs 18:10) We need to trust the Lord to protect us. The Lord wants us to have boundaries. We are not to trust just anybody and everybody. Remember, the wise are cautious in friendship (Proverbs 12:26).

As we let go of our barriers, we need to learn and replace them with good boundaries. We will encounter both internal and external resistance as we let go of our barriers and replace them with good boundaries. The Lord freely gives us His love and power. In loving Him we also need to learn how to trust Him. We cannot love Him in our own power and we often resist Him but He is able to help us in our weakness and give us the power to learn, receive His love and love Him back.

Bringing down the barriers and yielding to Him,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


35 Boundaries

Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control. Proverbs 25:28

Perfectionism has many qualities in common with codependency, so I want to spend a little more time looking at codependency. I have come to the conclusion that perfectionism is another way of describing codependency. In our codependency we often deal with boundary issues. Boundaries provide a definition between us and others. They also shield us and act as a filter which allows in the good and keeps out the bad.

An analogy from biology illustrates this. The cell membrane acts as a boundary. It provides the cell with its size and holds the cell together. The cell membrane allows nutrition, water and oxygen to enter the cell and facilitates waste products to leave the cell. It also protects the cell from infection.

God has given us boundaries, too. We need to take responsibility for our boundaries. No one else can take care of them for us. Everyone else needs to take responsibility of theirs, as well. This involves taking ownership for thoughts, feelings, wants and needs. When we say what we want and need, we make known our boundaries. When we honestly tell others how their actions affect us, we employ our boundaries. When we say, “No.” to a request or a demand, we assert our boundaries. When we ask for help and use resources for assistance in cases of abuse, we are utilizing the God given wisdom to manage our lives and our boundaries.

Note: As we learn to take responsibility for our boundaries, we will be messy. We are learning a new skill. Remember, we are immature before we are mature.

We also need to keep in mind that we will face resistance. People will not always understand what we are doing. Learning to assert our boundaries can be a scary process. We are going against a lot of rules, our own, as well as others. For example; “I have to say, ‘Yes,’ even when it will do damage to my life or schedule.” We need to let go of this rule. People are used to us saying, “Yes,” so when we say, “No,” they are shocked. We need to be ready for their response and let our “Yes” be “Yes”, and let our “No” be “No.” (Matthew 5:37). We also need to let go of our fear. “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)

We need to hear Jesus words, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) Giving ourselves rest may be the best way to find and live within our boundaries. In the rest we can hear from God what we really need. “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” (Psalm 46:10)

Being still within His presence,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


34 Codependency

There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.  Proverbs 14:12

Relationships open the door to our healing.  However, relationships can be mired in codependency.  Codependency and perfectionism share many characteristics.  Both are addictions to control.  Both are reactions to shame and self-hatred.  Both promise to provide us with good feelings and a sense of self-worth.  Both involve wearing a mask, a false self which covers over our true self.  Both are diseases of the heart and mind.

Codependency and perfectionism have some differences.  People who practice codependent behavior are preoccupied with relationships while those who struggle with perfectionism focus on doing the “right” behaviors.  In perfectionism one drives at winning love and approval through adhering to the right rules, while codependency seeks to win love through others’ approval.

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.  Proverbs 4:23

Obviously, our relational difficulties exist before we become aware of them.  As we learn to trust and share more of ourselves with others, we find areas of codependency.  They will become more pronounced as we spend more time with and energy in relating to others.

How do you know if you have codependency?  Do you have feelings of worthlessness and inadequacy or, on the other hand, have feelings of superiority and arrogance?  Do you leave interactions with others finding most of your own needs and wants unmet?  Do you overreact to circumstances in your life?  Do you sometimes wonder who you are in connection to others in your life?  Answering yes to any of these questions indicates at least some level of codependency.

Recovering from codependency, like recovering from perfectionism, takes time.  No panacea can instantly heal us.  God could heal us in a moment, but He is a Gentleman.  He does not violate our will; He gives us the freedom to make choices, even bad ones.  Part of the true recovery involves talking with God and hearing His Word.  What is He saying to us?

At times our codependency can flare up and result in extreme care-taking behavior.  We ignore our own needs/wants in order to take care of someone else.  The funny thing is we want others to be more in need than us because of self-idealism, competition and pride.  If others are “less-than”, we are “better-than”.  When we own our needs and ask for help, we heal from our codependent behaviors.  We need to humble ourselves and ask for help which, in turn, helps us to let go of pride and self-idealism.

Discovering who I am in Christ,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


33 Relationship

A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.  Proverbs 18:24   as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.  Proverbs 27:17  Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.  Hebrews 10:25

We need good friendships to help us heal from perfectionism.  Friendships model God’s love.  We were wounded in relationship.  We need to be healed in relationship as well.  The very agent of our pain becomes the agent of our healing.

God designed us to relate to others.  It began in Eden where God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone.” (Gen. 2:18)  In Hebrews 10 the verse “Let us not give up meeting together” is nestled in and flows out of our relationship with God.  We have drawn near to God, been cleansed and now He turns us toward spurring on one another, not giving up on meeting together and encouraging one another.  We need to meet with God and with each other.

Even secular society realizes this.  In the blockbuster “Cast Away” the character played by Tom Hanks becomes isolated on a Pacific island.  He turns a soccer ball into a face (“Wilson”) just so he has something with which to talk.  In his intense aloneness he makes it an idol.  Innate to our being is the need to relate and to worship.

If we were severely hurt by others in childhood, relating to people can be terrifying (Relating to God is, at best, void of any warmth, if not full of fear and condemnation).  We ask, “What, get close to people after they hurt me so severely?”  We continue to place others in the form that was created by the people who hurt us when we were young.  Making ourselves vulnerable to others and sharing our hearts with them involves trust.  We ultimately need to trust God in learning to trust others and follow His guidance in finding safe people with whom to share.  Who is feeding our hearts and spirits?  Who encourages our faith?  We need to get to know these people better and take risks in sharing with them.  They are not the Source of healing, yet God will use them for our healing.

We may become aware of fear as we reveal ourselves to others.  Fear is a signal of potential danger.  Not everyone is to be trusted.  That is why we need to find safe people, ones who “stick closer than a brother.”  We need to learn to trust these safe people.  This will take time, and we need to give ourselves grace in this process.  Like exercising our muscles, we need to exercise our trust.  In acting in trust, we find ourselves experiencing more trust.

Sharing myself with you and growing in trust,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


32 Spending Time with God

The welcome page has a list of all the e-letters.  At the bottom of this list, we list other blogs and websites of interest.  Also included is a link to another blog of ours that has our play “Crying Out.”  You can link directly to that at:  Godsperfectlove.wordpress.com

How do we learn to trust God?  Spend time with Him.

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”  Matthew 6:33 (first in the Greek indicates above all else or only)

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”  Matthew 4:4

How much time do we need to spend with God?  How about as much as possible?  Spending lengthy amounts of time with Him may not seem convenient or possible.  How about spending time with Him while we go about our daily lives?  Treat spending time with God like eating and drinking.  We need to eat to live.  We need time with God to find real life.  As Phil was entering this e-letter Marguex was talking with a friend who found it hard to find time to spend with God.  This friend was going through a particularly stressful life event and they were discussing the Brother Lawrence idea of practicing God’s presence in the midst of life.  Later, while editing, Marguex saw that Phil had written the following quote:

We need to “establish ourselves in a sense of God’s presence, by continually conversing with Him.  That we should feed and nourish our souls with high notions of God; which would yield us great joy in being devoted to Him.” *

We become like the people with whom we spend time.  Let’s spend time with Jesus and so become like Him.  We find out more and more about Him as we spend time with Him.

Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, He said to them, Come with Me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”  Mark 6:31

Perhaps you hear nothing from Him.  Our world resounds with many voices all striving to capture out attention.  We need to spend time ignoring all these other voices at times and focus on the voice of our MAKER.

Seeking a quiet place to rest with Jesus,

Noah Woodrich (and Marguex)

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

     Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; reflecting the light we have received                                    so that others can better see.  Prayers needed.

http://www.prayerfoundation.org/favoritemonks/favorite_monks_brother_lawrence.htm

Outline:  https://livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com/


31 Trust

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight…Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil.  For evil men will be cut off, but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land…”So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the pagans run after all these things, and your Heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”  Proverbs 3:5-6; Psalm 37: 8-9; Matthew 6: 31-33

God commands us not to be afraid, but instead to trust Him.  The Bible contains many more verses than the above about not being afraid and trusting God.

Trust involves faith.  We need to believe that God is truly all-powerful, all-knowing and all-loving.  He has our backs!  He knows what He is doing, and He will take care of us.  Trust Him!

I know—easy to say, but difficult to practice.  The presence of fear belies perfectionistic tendencies in us.  I have experienced tremendous fear in my life.  Looking back, I now laugh at being afraid of so many situations and circumstances in my life.  Perfectionism creates fear in us.  At times, we feel powerless in the grip of fear.  We need to trust.

Oh, it’s not so simple.  It can take us years to let go of fear and to learn to trust God.  Yes, years.  This journey involves effort.  We take it one step at a time.  Deal with each pain and fear as you become aware of it.  Take it to Jesus.  Whip (cast) your fear at Him.  He can take it.  He can transform your fear into trust.

Another way to deal with the fear is to invite Jesus right into the deep place in your heart where you feel the fear and pain.  He will heal you.

Over the years we (Phil & Marguex) have seen our fears diminish tremendously.  So take courage, you can let go of fear.  You need to decide to surrender your heart to Jesus.  Give yourself to Him.  Jesus is a gentleman.  He won’t force Himself on you.  Give Him permission to do surgery on your heart.

Here’s a simple prayer.  Father, I give you my heart.  Please help me to let go of my fear.  I praise You for You are good and You are in control for my good, in Jesus name, amen.  This prayer is not a solution for our fear but it can be a first step in the journey away from perfectionism.

On the journey,

Noah Woodrich (and Marguex)

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

     Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; reflecting the light we have received                                    so that others can better see.  Prayers needed.

http://www.prayerfoundation.org/favoritemonks/favorite_monks_brother_lawrence.htm

Outline:  https://livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com/


30 Control

Most of us like control.  We would like to have power over our circumstances.  We want what we want when we want it.  We want things done the way we think they should be done.

Though, if we think about it, we have to admit that we do not have control.  Thinking we can be in control involves self-deception and denial.  “Control is an illusion.”  Have you ever made plans that did not come to fruition?

The illusion of control flows from our self-idealism.  Self-idealism and control are forms of self idolatry.  We start to live as if we are God and have total control over our own lives.  Do we really want total control over our lives?  Over the lives of those whom we love?  What happens in a relationship when two people both want total control?  What does real love look like?

When we seek to manipulate others around us, we are trying to control our world.  Coercion and Gossip are two ways we can try to manipulate our surroundings.  Prayer can also be an attempt to manipulate.  We want to control others, yes.  When we begin thinking we can control God, we take ourselves out from under His protection, which is scary.  We need, in humility, to remember that God is sovereign.  He can answer our prayers with, “Yes”.  He may choose to ask us to wait in response to our requests.  He might even give us a decided “No”.  Ponder John 14-17 as a way to inform you in your prayers and how to love.

“God blesses those who are gentle and lowly, for the whole earth will belong to them.”  Matthew 5:5, NLT

Submit yourselves, then, to God.  James 4:7

When life circumstances lead us to feel out of control our fears provoke us to grasp for control.  “Cast all your anxiety on Him, for He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)  When we feel out of control, we need to remember that God is still in control and in control for our good.  He has plans for us that will never fail.

The Lord will work out His plans for my life–for your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever.  Psalm 138:8, NLT

Receiving His faithful love,

Noah Woodrich (and Marguex)

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

     Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; reflecting the light we have received                                    so that others can better see.  Prayers needed.

http://www.prayerfoundation.org/favoritemonks/favorite_monks_brother_lawrence.htm

Outline:  https://livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com/


29 Fear

“There is no fear in love.  But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.  The one who fears is not made perfect in love. (I John 4:18)  I used to be afraid of this verse!  I knew I was afraid, and I wasn’t supposed to be afraid!  I failed miserably as a Christian because I had so much fear in my life.  I was not “perfect in love.”  Notice the bind into which I put myself.

We hold ourselves to impossibly high standards in our self-idealism.  This leads to fear.  Curiously, we developed our standards and rules in response to a fear we felt towards others who had the power to hurt us.  Therefore, we seek to control the world around us and lessen the risk in our lives.  Ironically, we crave adventure but do not want to take the risks to get it.

As I said last time, after a crash, we vacillate between anger towards God and doubting Him.  If we don’t own our anger towards God, it can turn to fear, and we wonder if He exists or cares.

We know the Lord’s admonition “do not be afraid” (I John 4:18; John 14:1 & 27).  Philippians 4:6 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”  As we read this, however, we feel condemned rather than encouraged.  We don’t want to feel afraid.  How, then, can we be free of fear?

Cast all your anxiety on Him, for He cares for you.  I Peter 5:7 (emphasis added)

We have heard about laying our fears at the foot of the cross.  Sometimes we feel much more energy behind our fears than “laying them at the foot of the cross” entails.  Rather, imagine holding something like a baseball and whipping it at the cross.  This sounds shocking.  Jesus is Lord of Lords and King of Kings. (Revelation 17:14 &19:16)  He created all things, and He redeemed us. (Isaiah 54:5, 44:24, Colossians 1:21-23)  He is to be worshiped and adored forever and ever, amen! (Revelation 4:8-11)  Yet, we may need to whip our fear at Him on that cross!  It may sound crazy,but what is crazier is to hold on to our fears!  All of our ideas find their fruition, resolution and/or death, as the case may be, in Jesus.  (Romans 6:2-4, John 14:6)  So, whip your fear at Jesus.  “Cast all your anxiety on Him, for He cares for you.”  He knows all of our fears and He knows all about our fears.  He has borne them already on the cross (2 Corinthians 5:20).  He has already taken them, so give them to Him.  Really, give them to Him!

Imagine Jesus sitting in the seat of a “dunk tank”.  Throw the ball of your fear at the target so that Jesus goes under.  He already has (Isaiah 53:4-6).

Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb and thankful for it,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

     Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; reflecting the light we have received                                    so that others can better see.  Prayers needed.

http://www.prayerfoundation.org/favoritemonks/favorite_monks_brother_lawrence.htm

Outline:  https://livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com/

PS  Hold loosely (blog #4) to what I say here (as well as other blogs) and don’t make it into a rule.


28 Anger Towards God

Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight.  Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to Whom we must give account.  Hebrews 4:13

After a crash, we can vacillate between doubting God and feeling angry with Him.  “If He exists and is truly all-loving, all-knowing and all-powerful, why did He allow this crash into my life?”  How do you phase this question?  Regardless of the specific words, this question disturbs us.

To remain firm in our faith, we need to deal with our anger towards God.  No answer satisfies the question “Why did You let this happen to me?!”  No answer can satisfy the question.  We need God Himself to meet our hearts.  We need His presence and comfort.  Nothing can satisfy, but God alone.  Even though we will not fully know God until Heaven, we can still get glimpses of Him while on Earth.

Do you want more of God?  Cry out to Him!  He will show up for you.  We open our hearts to Him When we cry out to Him.  He already know what we are thinking and feeling.  We do not protect God by withholding ourselves from Him.  Neither do we protect ourselves by keeping ourselves from Him.

Tell God exactly what you are feeling.  If you are angry with God, tell Him!  I know, this sounds sacrilegious.  This does not sound true, noble, right, honorable, excellent or praise-worthy to tell God we are angry at Him (cf. Philippians 4:8).  God is to be worshiped and glorified forever (cf. Rev 4:8-11).  Yes!  And we need to be open and honest with Him!  Telling God what is going on inside of us is not only important, it is right and true.  A friend once said, “He is big enough to take it.”

Think of telling God what you feel towards Him as a form of prayer.  Telling God what you feel towards Him shows that:  1) You believe that He exists.  2) You believe He is all-loving, all-knowing and all-powerful. 3) You trust Him enough to share your deep and dark thoughts with Him.

If you keep your anger towards God to yourself, you will only end up holding onto them.  Crying out to God will help you to release your feelings to Him!  Own them, then let go of your negative feelings.  Healing is a process.  Keep crying out to God as long as you have intense negative feelings.

Finding Him faithful and true,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

     Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; reflecting the light we have received                                    so that others can better see.  Prayers needed.

Outline:  https://livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com/

See the play “Crying Out” at:  http://wp.me/p1Z4rC-c


27 Crash

We all come into this world helpless as infants. We grow yet we are still naïve. As children we trust those who care for us. We continue to grow and develop throughout our childhood yet we retain some of our infant helplessness. Then, as we grown into adolescents, we begin to resent parental intrusions into our lives, yet we continue to feel deeply dependent upon them. The development continues into adulthood where we learn independence, move away from home and make a life of our own.

Somewhere in this process we experience “crashes”—a “crash” is a profoundly negative event that marks us. What was your crash? Some may have experienced many crashes. A “crash” shakes us to our core and can make us wonder if God even exists. My primary crash was the death of my mother when I was eight and a half years old. I believed in God when I was a child, and I heard about His love, but I doubted that He really loved me.

Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” Job to his wife, from Job 2:10.

Job believed in God. According to Job 1:1, “This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil.” Job made the above statement after he lost almost everything he had, including his health. After some time with his friends, Job’s thoughts about God seemed to have changed. “’I cry out to You, O God, but You do not answer; I stand up, but You merely look at me. You turn on me ruthlessly; with the might of Your hand You attack me. You snatch me up and drive me before the wind; You toss me about in the storm. I know You will bring me down to death, to the place appointed for all the living.’” Job 30:20-23. Job’s view of God was affected by his circumstances.

We tend to question God after a crash. “Why me?” we ask, “Why now? How could You have let this happen to me?” When push comes to shove, God is the big target for our blame.

What is the basis for our faith in God? Is it the circumstances of our life, or His Word? Yes, circumstances affect us. Stoicism, ignoring our emotions or closing ourselves off to them actually worsen our problems. Rather, we need to base our faith on the Word of God even in the midst of crashes and the resulting pain and suffering.

How can we still believe in God when He allows us to experience crashes? Some “crashes” are blatantly evil (such as the shootings at the opening of the “Batman” movie in Aurora, Colorado). The news shows us daily the evil in this world. We need the power of the Holy Spirit living in us to keep believing in God. “No one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit” (I Corinthians 12:3). As Lord, He is in control and in control for our good.

Finding faith in Him,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

     Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; reflecting the light we have received                                    so that others can better see.  Prayers needed.

Outline:  https://livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com/


26 Identity

To Him Who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve His God and Father – to Him be glory and power forever and ever! Amen. Revelation 1:5-6  The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people.  Amen.  Revelation 22:21 (the last verse of the Bible)

We need to claim our new identity in Christ.  In our perfectionistic tendencies and self-idealism we act out of the old-self (cf. Romans 6).  The old self’s identity is based on pride and shame.  Having accepted our wounding and sin as a part of our identity we now need to let go of it and find our new identity fully in Christ’s love.

What is this new-self?  According to the three verses above, in this new identity we are: 1) Loved by Jesus; 2) Free from sin; 3) Part of God’s kingdom; 4) Priests in service to God; 5) God’s people.

Let’s focus on the first point because Jesus’ love for us directly challenges our pride and shame.  In Jesus we have no place for pride because He bought us with His blood.  We did not earn our salvation.  Also, in Jesus, we have no place for shame.  We are forgiven and forgive others because we are restored to right relationship with God.  Free of these tyrannies we can experience Jesus’ love.

The hope we have before us in heaven is full reconciliation.  We get glimpses of this when we relate to safe people who are in the process of finding the power in God’s redemptive grace.  Past sins against us actually hold no power to mark or define us because we belong to Jesus.  It is only when we agree with the deception of our enemy that he has any power over us.

We find freedom from pride and shame through the power of the blood.  Spiritual reality holds that if we believe in Jesus and ask Him to cleanse us, He has.  This truth, even though it may not be a daily experience, can still be found in our daily lives through the process of sanctification which is God’s work in us

In summary, our shame-based identity leads to feelings of shame.  Likewise, our pride feeds the pride-based identity.  In letting go of pride and shame, we find an empty hole in our hearts.  To fill this hole, we need a new identity which is love-based and only found in Christ.

Even if you do not feel loved by Jesus, you are dearly loved by Him!  Learn to think in terms of being loved.  This requires faith.  Exercise your faith as you would your body.  Meditate on Jesus’ love for you rather than how amazingly good you are or what a miserable failure you are.  Pride and shame are destined for corruption, but God’s love will abide forever!

Receiving His faithful love,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

     Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; reflecting the light we have received                                    so that others can better see.  Prayers needed.

Outline:  https://livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com/


25 Self-Idealism

To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable:  “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.  The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men – robbers, evil-doers, adulterers – or even like this tax collector.  I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’  But the tax collector stood at a distance.  He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’  I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God.  For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”  Luke 18:9-14

In our pride we think highly of ourselves.  We consider ourselves capable of great feats.  We can even develop a superman complex and be in awe of ourselves.  We relate to Peter Pan when he says, “Oh, the wonder of me!”  If not checked we revel in our self-idealism.  Self-idealism is idolatrous, narcissistic and grandiose.  Self-idealism feeds on perfectionism and, in turn, perfectionism feeds on self-idealism.

When we believe the lies perfectionism espouses, we open ourselves to idealizing self.  In order to maintain our perfectionism, we need to believe ourselves to be superhuman.  We deceive ourselves into believing we are way more capable than we really are.  Humility requires an accurate appraisal of oneself.

What are some reveries we have about ourselves?  Ones where we think we have the right idea for ourselves and for others.  “Why don’t they just do the right thing?” we ask, “Can’t they see that speck in their eye?!  Oh, yes, they might not be able to see it for the log in my eye that is in the way.”  Let’s remove the log so we might see clearly and help each other with the specks. (Matthew 7:5)

I wonder if we realize how much perfectionism affects us on a daily basis.  Perfectionism involves denial.  We need to let go of our denial.  Owning our self-idealism helps us let go of it.

I confess my self-idealism.  I have been aware of it for many years, yet I still hold on to it.  I need to follow my own advice.  God, have mercy on me, a sinner!

Choosing to own and let go,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

     Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; reflecting the light we have received                                    so that others can better see.  Prayers needed.

Outline:  https://livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com/

PS  In case you cannot relate to the above, either you do not have self-idealism or perhaps you are in profound denial (?).  Okay, seriously now, open your heart and listen to God.  Is the Spirit pointing out any self-idealism?  If not, please pray for us who struggle with it.  Thank you!


24 Pride

Last post showed how the performance trap feeds our pride.  We tend to think more highly of ourselves than we ought.  In humility, we need to consider others better than ourselves (Philippians 2:3).  We have inflated egos.  We think we are capable of great feats.  We are capable of many things.  God’s works are wonderful.  We are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14).  We are created in His image (Genesis 1:27).  In addition, we are able to learn and adapt in our circumstances.  Furthermore, we experience mastery over many of the issues of life.  The fact that you can read this sentence and understand it shows your ability to learn and think.

However, our abilities have limitations.  We are finite creatures.  We do not like to admit our limitations.  We prefer to think of what we can do rather than what we cannot do.  We feel a need to prove ourselves, then, because we are fighting our shame.  We do not like feelings of shame.  Shame feels shaming.  It is painful.  We strive to get rid of these negative feelings.  We use pride to battle shame.

Pride, however, is the flip side of shame.  Shame says we are dreadful.  Pride says we are superior.  In reality, the coin has no power to define us.  We are sinners saved by grace.  We are now saints, but this is God’s work in us, not our own doing (Philippians 2:13).

God warns us against pride:

[The Lord] mocks proud mockers but gives grace to the humble.  Proverbs 3:34

God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.   James 4:6, I Peter 5:5

Humility differs greatly from shame.  Shame says we are awful.  Humility says we are human like everyone else; that is, we sin and make mistakes.  Shame wallows in how poorly we have treated others.  Humility acknowledges the ways we have hurt others and repents of those things.  Shame rejects grace as too kind, too considerate.  Humility accepts grace as a gift.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand that He may lift you up in due time.  I Peter 5:6 (also James 4:10)

Letting go of pride and shame; learning to embrace humility,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

     Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; reflecting the light we have received                                    so that others can better see.  Prayers needed.

Outline:  https://livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com/


23 Performance Trap

“Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them.  If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in Heaven.”  Matthew 6:1

Rules flow out of fear.  The rules may issue out of fears, such as:  fear of failure, fear of being punished or even out of fear of losing praise.  By our rules we try to avoid bad things.  By our good performance we try to create good things.  We think that if we do the right thing at the right time, good will result.  We seek to obey all the rules and do all the right things.  Sometimes this even works!

Positive results reinforce our performance and striving behavior.  If we crave praise and diligently seek it, we find ourselves in The Performance Trap.

Jesus calls us to obey Him rather than our man made rules.  Valuing what people say about us more than what God says about us makes an idol out of human praise.  You may think receiving praise is harmless, but consider how you allow it to control you.  What are some things you have done today solely because someone else thought you should do it rather than doing it because it was on your task list for the day?  Do you run after praise?

You may be thinking, “But, I’m supposed to try to please others.”  Why?  Who says?  What will happen if you don’t?  Are you obeying Jesus in your people-pleasing behavior?  “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.” (Proverbs 29:25)

Where is your emotional investment, earthly treasure or heavenly treasure?  I am speaking of praise as a type of treasure.  “’Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.’” (Matthew 6:19-21)

Let go of performing for others.  What is God saying to you about your motivations?  Choose to live for Him and His glory rather than for your own glory.

Learning to live for the Master,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

     Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; reflecting the light we have received                                    so that others can better see.  Prayers needed.

Outline:  https://livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com/


22 Rules

When Jesus had finished speaking, a Pharisee invited Him to eat with him; so He went in and reclined at the table.  But the Pharisee, noticing that Jesus did not first wash before the meal, was surprised.  Luke 11:37-38

Jesus calls us to obey Him, not man made rules. In Jesus time the Pharisees and teachers of the law taught many man made rules.  These rules were like little x’s around the big X of God’s Law.  For example, the Law says to keep the Sabbath day holy by doing no work (Ex. 20:10).  The Pharisees and teachers of the law taught rules like, “Do not light a fire on the Sabbath”.

We do the same today when we make up our own rules.  Our rules may even seem amusing to those around us.  For example, “Do not be one minute late for work,” and its antithesis, “Do not be one minute early for work.”  Another couplet is, “Don’t drive one mile per hour over the speed limit,” and, “Don’t drive one mile per hour under the speed limit.”  Rules such as these constrict our lives.  Sets of rules can also put us in double-binds.  Examples of double-binds are, “Do not lie,” and, “Don’t say anything that could hurt anyone.”  Or the corollary, “Always tell the truth,” and, “How things look is what matters.”

Constricting and double-binding rules can drive us crazy.  Rules also “load people down with burdens they can hardly carry.” (Luke 11:46)  These rules have an appearance of wisdom but lack any power in helping us obey Jesus and live a godly life (Colossians 2:20-23).

We develop rules in reaction to shame.  When we wrongly assume that feelings of shame are about what we have done rather than about what has been done to us, we treat shame as guilt.  In our search for what we have done wrong, we actually find some blame that we can lay on ourselves.  We develop rules to guard us from future wrong-doing to protect us from “guilt”, but these rules actually create more “guilt”.  We feel “guilty” whenever we inevitably break our constricting and double-binding rules.  In actuality, rules trap us and keep us from moving forward in life.  Confession frees us from guilt and can bring light to our self-imposed rules.  Anything that attempts to hold us in bondage is shame or condemnation (Rom. 8:1).  There is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus.

Jesus says to us:  “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

Finding rest for my soul,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

     Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; reflecting the light we have received                                    so that others can better see.  Prayers needed.

Outline:  https://livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com/


21 Obedience

Redeemed by the all-sufficient blood of Jesus!  God has freely given us salvation.  He loves us.  It is not about what we have done.  It’s about Who He is.  We receive this gift by faith.

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.  And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”  Mt 28:18-20

Jesus calls us to obey Him.  This seems like a contradiction to the gift of salvation.  Keep in mind, our obedience does not earn our salvation.  Rather, God saves us, transforms us and our hearts want to obey Him.

We cooperate with Him as He transforms us.  We need to open our hearts to His love and His word.  He speaks to us through others and directly to our hearts through His word—He is The Word.

We do not need to impress Him.  In our perfectionism we tend to look for ways to impress others.  God sees the small things we do.  Jesus talked about a cup of cold water being given in His name even being noticed.  As we obey Him, we need to allow ourselves to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”  Shame says we don’t deserve praise.  Doubt says don’t trust praise.  We need to let go of shame and doubt and allow ourselves to receive God’s praise and approval.

On a personal note, my wife and I are struggling financially.  Please join us in crying out to God for provision and favor.  Thank you!

Seeking to obey,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

     Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; reflecting the light we have received                                    so that others can better see.  Prayers needed.

Outline:  https://livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com/


20 Redeemed

Redeem:  “To recover ownership by paying off a specified sum…To set free, rescue…To save from sinfulness.”  The American Heritage Dictionary, fourth edition.

After discussing shame and self-hatred, I want to encourage you.  From the last post, trusting safe people God sends us will help us let go of shame and self-hatred.  Talking about painful subjects can ease shame we feel about those subjects.

Shame says we are not good enough and don’t deserve love and acceptance.  Indeed, we are sinners and deserve God’s judgment.  The Bible also tells us that God redeemed us with the blood of Jesus.  Regardless of whatever bad things you have done or have been done against you, God still loves you.  He created you, and He paid the price for your sin.  You are twice His.  “You are not your own; you were bought at a price.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Romans 5:8

Shame lies to us.  We need to believe God despite what we feel.  The Bible is more trustworthy than our feelings.  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own under-standing.” (Proverbs 3:5)  We need to “set our hearts at rest in His presence whenever our hearts condemn us.  For God is greater than our hearts…” (1 John 3:19-20)  Our connection with God does not depend on feelings.  “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:1)  Focus on what God has done for you in Christ.  Receive God’s love in faith.  Even if you do not feel peace, your status with God is still peace if you believe in Jesus.

You need faith in Jesus, but faith is not the same as feeling.  Peace does not create our faith.  Rather, God’s word in the Bible and the Holy Spirit speak faith into us.  Peace follows faith.  We who have deep emotional wounds may believe a long time before experiencing peace.

The devil uses deception and doubt to elicit our confusion and shame.  The devil tries to destroy our faith in God.  Let go of lies, doubt and shame.  At times we need to exercise all our faith to change our focus to God.  Know God is holding onto us.  “I give them eternal life… no one can snatch them out of my hand.  My Father, Who has given them to Me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.” (John 10:28-29)

The blood of Jesus is sufficient to pay for all of our sin.

Redeemed by the blood of Jesus,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

     Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; reflecting the light we have received                                    so that others can better see.  Prayers needed.

Outline:  https://livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com/


19 Safe People

A righteous man is cautious in friendship.  Proverb 12:26

God is healing us.  Jesus meets our deepest needs for love and acceptance.  In the journey away from perfectionism, God ministers to us and often uses people.  These people reflect the love of Jesus.  We need their fellowship to heal because isolation breeds shame and self-hatred.  Separation magnifies shame.  We actually need healthy connection with others to let go of shame.

To those who have been deeply wounded this may sound like bad news.  Friendship involves trust.  When deeply wounded, we choose not to trust so as to protect our hearts.  We resist being vulnerable so that we are not hurt again.  Imagined control over our environment seems safer than trust.  However, control leads us deeper into perfectionism, whereas trust leads to healing.  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Trust and caution go together as Proverbs 12:26 indicates.  Find safe people to trust.  They will encourage your faith and healing.  Safe people love & respect others and guard others’ dignity.  Safe people are, for the most part, gentle, forgiving and non-judgmental.  Truthfully, we will not find perfect people to trust this side of Heaven.  Yet, we apply discernment and grace as we learn to trust in relationships.

Sometimes on our journey, no one seems safe.  We may have learned not to trust, and perceptions get skewed.  We can see lack of trustworthiness in others.  We need to learn to trust.  Take small risks.  See who is fairly trustworthy.

Remember, safe people speak truth in love.  We may feel hurt at times by their honesty.  This doesn’t mean they aren’t safe, because sometimes, honestly, we need to be confronted and the truth can hurt.  We need to learn humility in the process.  Here is a guide:  Criticism hurts without regard for others’ hearts and dignity while critique seeks to benefit and regards others’ hearts and dignity.

As a caution, when we cling to anyone, except Jesus, we make ourselves unsafe.  Also, we give them too much power.  This makes them unsafe for us.  We need to become dependent on Jesus alone.  Hold on to safe people loosely.  Having healthy connections with others in mutually loving and respectful relationships will help you to let go of shame and self-hatred.

Finding safe people, becoming a safe person,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

     Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; reflecting the light we have received                                    so that others can better see.  Prayers needed.

Outline:  https://livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com/


18 Self Hatred

My last post may have made it sound like you have or you do not have shame.  Actually, we live in a mixture between feeling shame and feeling loved.  In this confusion, we ask the question, “Am I so bad?”  We seek ways to prove to ourselves that we are not so bad.  Our tendency toward perfectionism is one of them.  Self-hatred contrasts with shame by providing an answer to shame’s question.  “I am so bad!”

Oddly enough, self-hatred can at times feel better than shame.  We ask ourselves, “Am I so bad?”  Our feelings of being loved and of feeling shamed fight each other.  The arguments between love and shame create tension and insecurity as they rage unresolved.  In contrast, self-hatred gives a false sense of being settled or resolved, even if in a negative way.

When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty silver coins to the chief priests and the elders.  “I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.”  “What is that to us?” they replied.  “That’s your responsibility.”  So Judas threw the money into the temple and left.  Then he went away and hanged himself.  Matthew 27: 3-5

Self-hatred flows into self-punishing behaviors.  These behaviors done to self vary in destructiveness from hair pulling, excessive scratching, pinching and cutting, to suicide.  Physical pain feels like it brings relief from the emotional pain, but is only a temporary distraction; the emotional pain eventually returns (in the case of suicide, the pain is eternal).

For those of us who experience self-hatred, God’s love can seem hopelessly unrealistic.  Take heart.  Jesus makes us whole.  He can heal you.  Bringing the dead to life is one of God’s specialties.

You may have prayed for years to be healed.  Keep praying.  Ask others to pray with you.  Deep emotional healing takes time.  You need tell others about your struggle.  This may include counseling.

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call for help.  You could call your church and ask to speak to a pastor.  If you are not willing to talk to someone in your circle of acquaintances, call the Christian Suicide Prevention at 888-667-5947, website: http://www.christiansuicideprevention.com/  if you are contemplating suicide, suffering in silence could result in your death.  Do get help.

Finding relief and hope in the journey,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

     Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; reflecting the light we have received                                    so that others can better see.  Prayers needed.

Outline:  https://livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com/


17 Shame

I have danced around the subject of shame.  Previous posts provided tools to deal with it.  I hope that you are ready to hear about this deep, dark, intractable subject.

(H)e raped her…Tamar put ashes on her head and tore the ornamented robe she was wearing.  She put her hand on her head and went away; weeping aloud as she went…And Tamar lived in her brother Absalom’s house, a desolate woman.  2 Samuel 13:14,19,20

Shame feels like hopelessness, emptiness, worthlessness, loneliness or pain.  Shame relentlessly hits our souls and identities with negative messages.  Shame diminishes and intensifies, but it never completely goes away.  Triggers remind us of our shame.

Our identities developed in childhood.  Back then, we believed what happened to us was about or even because of us.  When parents or other significant people in our lives wounded us repeatedly, we came to believe that we were defective.  This formed our shame-based identity.

Shame feels like guilt, and so we may confuse the two.  Indeed, they intermix when we sin as others sin against us.  To heal from shame, we need help discerning the difference between the two.  With guilt, we confess how we hurt others and receive forgiveness through the blood of Christ.  With shame, we need to acknowledge how other people hurt us, which can involve letting ourselves feel the anger we have towards them.  Throughout this process, we need to forgive them through the power which Christ’s blood affords us.  We resist forgiving, especially so when others do not acknowledge how they hurt us.  We still need to forgive them.  Forgiving can be a long and difficult process.  Yet it ultimately frees us.  As Francis Frangipane writes, “Unforgiveness is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.”

Beyond forgiving, we need to receive from God our new identity as forgiven and beloved.  As we receive God’s forgiveness and love, our shame-based identity fights back and struggles for survival.  When we try to kill our shame-based identity, we shame ourselves. We actually feed it in trying to destroy it.  Rather, we need to let go of the old identity and allow God to transform us into our new identity in Christ.  We cooperate with Him when we stop trying to earn His love, yield to Him and let Him give us our new identity.

Let go of shame.  Shame can stick like glue and it resists dying.  Do not focus on shame. Rather, focus on God, His love and forgiveness.  God created us.  He nurtures our new self.  Open your heart and mind to Him.  Crying out to Him opens your heart to Him.  Receive His love as gift.

Much of our recovery involves letting go of shame and receiving God’s love.

Learning to see myself as His beloved,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

     Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; reflecting the light we have received                                    so that others can better see.  Prayers needed.

Outline:  https://livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com/


16 Submitting Wounds of the Heart and Mind

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hears be troubled, and do not be afraid.  John 14:27

Longing for love and not feeling it drives our perfectionism.  We seek to make ourselves lovable by earning it.  To let go of perfectionism, we need inner healing for our hearts.  When we feel pain and other negative emotions, we can receive inner healing by submitting our wounded hearts and minds to the Lordship of Jesus.

Submitting them involves feeling the pain and looking to Jesus.  We see Him smiling.  We feel His touch.  We hear Him saying, “I love you.” and, “I give you my peace.”  We choose to believe Him rather than the pain of the wounds.  We surrender them to His Lordship.

Submitting wounds of the heart and mind takes time and effort.  We will encounter resistance in the process.  You may not find any benefit from submitting your wounds at this time.  We will pass along other ideas in future e-letters, which work alongside this one.

The following illustrates submitting wounds of the heart and mind:

My mom died when I was eight and a half years old.  I felt abandoned and unimportant.  I heard about God’s love, but doubted Him.  In the here and now, I trust God and sense His love for me.  Recent events reminded me of my heart wounds.  I experienced again the pain of feeling unimportant.  I gave my pain in prayer to Jesus and asked Him to take Lordship over the place in my heart where I feel this pain.  I felt His love pushing into my pain.  The pain did not instantly disappear.  I felt the tension between His love and my pain.  I felt His love gradually begin to burn away my pain.

In process of submitting,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

     Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; reflecting the light we have received                                    so that others can better see.  Prayers needed.

Outline:  https://livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com/


15 Resistance

If you have spent any time owning and letting go (from the last two posts), then you will probably have encountered resistance within yourself.  Owning and letting go require change and bring us into deep heart issues.  Our actions spring from the heart, as Jesus said in Matthew. Tryingto change behavior does no good if our hearts are not changed.  Yet our hearts resist change.  Even when we feel intense pain, our hearts would rather not change because the known pain feels safer than the unknown change.  The old way provides an unhappy settledness.  Pain motivates change.  Yet, at some point, we need to decide to change.

How then do we overcome resistance once we decide to make lasting change in our lives?  We utilize the enabling power of the Holy Spirit (II Peter 1:3).  Yielding to the Holy Spirit involves dying to a habit or way of thinking.  Initially, this letting go can involve even more pain than the pain that motivated us to make a change.  We need to move forward believing that the change will ultimately result in less pain and a more obedient and rested life.  He will bring comfort to us in our pain (Matthew 5:4).  To overcome resistance, we need to trust God’s leading.  We need to believe He knows better than we do what is in our ultimate good.

So I find this law at work:  When I want to do good, evil is right there with me.  For in my inner being I delight in God’s law, but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war with the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members.  Romans 7:21-23

Resolving our issues involves letting go of our resistance to change.  The process can feel like an internal battle and it takes time.  We may need to struggle with deep issues for years.  Unresolved questions from our childhood originated our deep issues.  We needed to know that someone loved us.  Wondering if no one did led us to perfectionism.  Perfectionism became the way we protected ourselves against feeling unloved.  That self-protection is the root of resistance.  Having been wounded when vulnerable, we shielded of our hearts.  This self-protective shell may have defended us as children but it no longer works.

As we continue to experience pain and shame in our process of healing, we continue to resist the process of letting go.  We need to allow ourselves to feel the emotional pain in order to heal.  When we cry out to God, He helps us begin to deal with this pain.  We realize our need for the comfort of the Holy Spirit–the Comforter (John 14).

Perfectionism demands quick solutions.  We need to give ourselves grace as we struggle to heal and grow.  God is healing us.  He will grow us.  He will work out our sanctification.  “Through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:2)

Learning to let go of resistance,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

     Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; reflecting the light we have received                                    so that others can better see.  Prayers needed.

Outline:  https://livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com/


14 Letting Go

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; reflecting light so others can better see.  God is our Source of light, life, healing and freedom.  We reflect His light through these posts.

To heal from perfectionism, we need to own our actions, thoughts, feelings, etc.  We need to let go of some of these after we own them.  I heard a men’s pastor describe this by a fishing analogy, catch and release.

But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.   If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the Truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify from all unrighteousness.  1 John 1:7-9

These verses relate to us forgiveness of sin.  For example, when we take a coat to the dry cleaner for a stain on the sleeve the dry cleaner will remove all the stains he finds; regardless if we knew about them or not.  After confessing, we need to receive forgiveness and let go of the guilt and sin.  Jesus took them.

Regarding making mistakes, we need to own our part and then let go of dwelling on them (dwelling=sitting and spinning).  We tend to beat ourselves up over mistakes.  When we recognize the mistakes, we need to let go.  In our perfectionism, we don’t like to admit that we have been wrong.  Yet owning and letting go helps us to move forward.

Many of us don’t like to own our emotions.  We can be like Spock in Star Trek and deny that we even have emotions.  Our emotions may even seem ungodly.  However, emotions are a part of being human.  We need to own our emotions before letting go of them.  We resist this process.  We need to acknowledge our emotions in order to let go and learn to deal with them in a healthy and holy way.  We can be like children who avoid taking a bath and when we get into the water we don’t want to leave.

Letting go takes time and practice.  Listen to God for how to do it.

Learning to let go,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

     Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; reflecting the light we have received                                    so that others can better see.  Prayers needed.

Outline:  https://livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com/


13 Owning

We are not victims.  Perhaps we have been misused or neglect.  That does not mean we need to continue to live as victims.  Owning one’s self involves taking responsibility.  However, we often play the blame game to find relief from our guilt and shame.  When we own our part in life, we listen to the Spirit as He points out where we are truly guilty and confess it.  Herein we find abiding relief.   We receive the blood of Jesus and God’s forgiveness for our sin and forgive others who have hurt us and sinned against us.

This is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all.  If we claim to have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.  But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin.  If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.  If we claim we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar and His word is not in us.  I John 1 5-10

In our healing journey, we need to own our sin.  As we do, we need to acknowledge our thoughts, emotions, desires, dreams, decisions and actions as our own.  On one hand, we judge ourselves too harshly.  On the other, we disown parts of who we are and what we have contributed or thought.  In both ways, we practice perfectionism.

Owning our emotions and desires will bring up the pain of past disappointments.  Ignoring pain does not deal with it.  What happens when we ignore a virus in our body?  What happens if we ignore a virus in our computer?  When we ignore, deny or cover emotional pain or sin, we put it in darkness.  It still affects us.  When we own our pain, we bring it into the light of God presence.  “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)

Learning to live in the light,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

     Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; reflecting the light we have received                                    so that others can better see.  Prayers needed.

Outline:  https://livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com/


12 Process

This is our twelfth post.  We have experienced God’s blessing in writing them.  I hope that you have been blessed in reading them.  To that end, I request that you pray before or as you read each e-letter.  None of these e-letters mean anything without God’s blessing.

Healing and growth consists of a long journey with many steps.  Each step leads us closer to being Christ-like.  We will not reach the end of our journey or arrive there until Heaven.  Another word for journey is process.  This process of healing and growth takes time; yes, even the rest of our lives.  Perfectionism expects instant success and that we do things right the first time.  We expect ourselves to “know what we know before we know it”.  From our experience we know that instant success is not always possible, but those of us who struggle with perfectionism still feel this self-imposed expectation.

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.  Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.  But one thing I do:  Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.  Philippians 3:12-13

Even the Apostle Paul did not reach perfection in this life!  He recognized his need to grow and lack of perfection.  “Straining toward what is ahead” implies exerting great effort.  We know that life presents many problems, but perfectionism gives us the false message that we should easily master any challenge we undertake.  We need to counter this false message with truth.  Life produces struggle.  Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble”.  (John 16:33)

We need to give ourselves permission to struggle and not expect ourselves to be at some non-existent there.  We are works in progress.  Remember Paul’s words that he was not perfect and was “straining toward what is ahead”.  We are in process of being healed and grown.  It’s okay that we are not finished yet.  As Brennan Manning says, “God loves us as we are and not as we should be.”

Struggling with you,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

     Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; reflecting the light we have received                                    so that others can better see.  Prayers needed.

Outline:  https://livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com/